30 Days of Rest: Day 17


If you are still reading, you have made it to the beginning of Stage 3 of 30 Days of Rest. Following the rhythm of the stages of sleep, we are just now entering deep rest.

In taking cues from our sleep cycle, this stage of rest is when it looks and feels like NOTHING is happening. We are totally unaware and we are not yet dreaming.

Can you feel this moment when you are falling asleep? It is a surrender to the unknown. It is the sleep you can’t fall into when you have a baby or when you are expecting a phone call. You can take little cat naps and catch some stage 1 and 2 sleep, but Stage 3 you have to surrender to.

You have to let go of being available.

You have to let go of being in control.

How amazing that this is the phase when all of your energy is pouring itself inward, to your heart, your immune system, even your intuition.

Personally, this was a scary phase for me. It really did feel like nothing was happening, that I would never do or be anything because I made this grand choice to prioritize rest. I had already let go of one rope thinking that another one would be right there to grab onto and it was not.

I love that this phase is deep sleep but not dreaming. This is the time before the dreams come and that is okay, because our heart and our body need attention if we are to have what we need in order pursue and sustain those dreams when they do reveal themselves to us.

Give yourself permission to let go of what things look like and surrender to the process of regulating, healing and growth that are happening right below the surface.

What happens in Stage 3 of our sleep cycle?

In stage 3, extremely slow brain waves called delta waves begin to appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves. There is no eye movement or muscle activity. People awakened during deep sleep do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes after they wake up. This is the beginning of deep sleep.

What are Delta Waves?

Delta waves are typically generated in the right hemisphere of the brain and are linked to our subconscious and unconscious. While you are in a delta state of functioning, you have no conscious awareness.

They are typically produced during the deep stages of sleep and are involved in regulating unconscious bodily processes such as heart beat regulation, kidney functioning, and digestive functioning.

Delta waves are thought to help the body with healing and is thought to release various hormones. The benefits of these regulated waves include: getting a better night’s sleep, boosted immune system functioning, as well as increased empathy.