The MWS Podcast 48: Rubin Naiman on Sleep and Dreams

Dr. Rubin Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s centre for integrative medicine. Dr Naiman is the author of several books on sleep and dreams including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep, the Yoga of Sleep and Hush. He regular blogs on sleep and dreams for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. He talks about why so many of us are deprived of good quality sleep, in what way we might take some steps to address the balance and how this might relate to the Middle Way.


MWS Podcast 48: Rubin Naiman as audio only:
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About Barry Daniel

I live in the Lake District in the UK where I run a guesthouse with my partner Kate and my cat Manuel. I enjoy painting, hillwalking, reading, visiting and entertaining friends, T’ai Chi and playing the guitar. I’m engaged to a certain degree in the local community, as a volunteer with Samaritans and I’m a fairly active member of the local Green party. I’ve had a relatively intuitive sense of the Middle Way most of my adult life but it found a greater articulation and a practical direction through joining the society. It’s also been interesting and great fun engaging with other people with a similar outlook. My main contribution to the society is conducting the podcast interviews, something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and that I’ve learnt a lot from.

4 thoughts on “The MWS Podcast 48: Rubin Naiman on Sleep and Dreams

  1. As you say, Barry, absolutely fascinating. I do want to learn more, and I know my wife will want to too. Thanks for this lovely interview about dreaming.

  2. I agree that this is fascinating. I was going to say eye-opening, but maybe I should avoid that metaphor! This is an aspect of integration that I haven’t given very much attention to. It also fits very well with McGilchrist’s work on the brain hemispheres, as the bias towards waking that Rubin discusses can readily be seen as a bias towards the left hemisphere. When I have trouble sleeping myself it can be because of intellectual over-stimulation: too much representation and not enough focus on embodied experience.

    It would be fascinating to find out how much of a relationship there might be between sleep deprivation and dogmatism. Does the left-brain dominant repression of sleep have a demonstrable relationship with subjection to cognitive biases as defects in judgement? There’s a whole potential field of psychological research there.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. I do believe there is a link between sleep loss, relentless domination of left hemisphere activity and a leaning toward dogmatism. The left hemisphere processes experience through reductionism — what I think of as microscopic eyes. In contrast, the right hemisphere, which is more active in dream-like mentation, takes a wide-angle, macrospheric view. This allows for a broader vision that unframes reality and allows us to brush up against mystery.

      1. Rubin, you may see that your podcast has provoked heightened interest in dreaming, so that we are considering how to incorporate an exploration of our dream-lives into the weekend retreat we’ve scheduled for November 2015, titled ‘Reinventing Ritual’. The intention (which is still only broadly drawn) is to develop a form of cooperative experiential and real-time enquiry into our dreams, with a view to seeing what insights into the integrative potential they may have, within the Middle Way Philosophy framework.

        Any thoughts you have on this would be greatly appreciated, if you have the time and volition to offer them.

        I can’t include a link here, but details of the retreat can be found under the heading Reinventing Ritual Retreat.

        Best wishes, Peter

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