Episode 51

Published on:

7th Jun 2023

Healing Self and World Through Sleep and Dream: Dialogue with Rubin Naiman

If you struggle with getting enough sleep, you aren't alone. Keep in mind: six hours or less per night on an ongoing basis seems about as bad as getting zero for two days straight.

As much as 41% of adults in the U.S. report short sleep, and as much as 84% of high school students report short sleep. Worse yet, 50-70 million U.S. citizens (perhaps more) qualify for a formal diagnosis of sleep disorder, ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea.

All of this should create a sense of urgent compassion for ourselves, each other, and the world. That has to do in part with the many mental and physical ailments connected with sleep disruption. Not getting enough quality sleep AND dream seems to go together with a concerning list of illnesses, including cognitive decline.

Moreover, a lack of quality sleep and dream can limit our skill and our potential in life, leaving us less capable to take skillful, creative, wise, compassionate, and beautiful action in our lives, on behalf of our own wellbeing and also on behalf of the whole community of life. Sleep and dream go fully together with our life and our world, and the problems we see in our own life and world thus go together with the crisis of sleep and dream we now face.

The present dialogue goes together with the dialogue with psychologist and dream tender Dr. Leslie Ellis, released as Episode 44. If you missed that one, I encourage you to check it out.

In the present episode, Dr. Rubin Naiman joins us to contemplate the dangerous wisdom of sleep and dreams, reflecting on some of the things we need to begin to open to and keep in mind if we want to allow the power of sleep and dreams help us to heal self and world at the same time.

But the episode begins with some reflections on Hermes from your friendly neighborhood soul doctor. Hermes is, after all, a guide of souls, a lord of dreams, and a magician with the capacity to carry lead us into the realm of sleep and dream. Then we move into a delightful dialogue that I think you will enjoy. You can find Rubin's bio and contact info below.

Rubin Naiman, PhD, FAASM, is a psychologist, author, Fellow in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine where he has taught seminars on sleep and dreams to physicians for twenty-five years. Rubin pioneered the development of integrative approaches to sleep and dreams, integrating scientific with depth psychological, transpersonal, and spiritual perspectives. He has taught and consulted about sleep and dream matters in a dozen countries around the globe.

Over the years, his work has included training doctoral psychology students, dreamwork with hospice patients and survivors, and establishing and directing sleep and dream health programs for Canyon Ranch and Miraval Resorts. Rubin has also served as a creativity consultant for the entertainment industry, which included travel with a world-renowned rock band for two years.

Rubin is the author of numerous consumer and professional works on sleep and dreams including Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming and Awakening, Hush: A Book of Bedtime Contemplations, Healthy Sleep, an audio program co-authored with Andrew Weil.

More recently, he published a seminal paper in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences entitled, Dreamless: The Silent Epidemic of REM Sleep Loss as well as Oxford University Press Medical text chapters entitled, Dream Medicine and The Future of Sleep Medicine.

In his spare time, Rubin is an avid hiker and amateur photographer. He has about seven grand kids and believes that children and dogs offer the greatest hope for the betterment of our planet.

Rubin Naiman, PhD, FAASM

Director, NewMoon Sleep, LLC

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

  Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine

   University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ



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About the Podcast

Dangerous Wisdom
Journey into Mystery
A podcast for wild souls who want to live with open eyes and an enlivened heart. The world needs dangerous wisdom, and our education system functions primarily to keep us away from it—to stop us from taking the journey into the mystery and magic of the world. Because of this, we have achieved a catastrophic level of confusion, anxiety, and ignorance—with boatloads of tame wisdom, false wisdom, and self-help nonsense that only adds to the challenges we face. The path of wisdom—the path of wonder—deals with how things really work, and how we can become skillful and successful. Following it leads beyond concepts to a wonderstanding that can heal us, and empower us to help the world, realize our hidden potential, and experience the profound meaningfulness of life. In this podcast, we turn toward the dangerous stuff, the wild stuff, and confront the need to handle authentic wisdom with skill and grace, making sure the medicine doesn’t become another poison. If you want an inspiring space to explore the big and sometimes scary questions, a space that opens up into insights that can change your life and the world we share, join us. Find out more at https://dangerouswisdom.org/

About your host

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nikos patedakis

“Vain is the word of the philosopher that heals no suffering.” ~ Epicurus

Following in the footsteps of Epicurus, nikos patedakis works with individuals, groups, and organizations, bringing to bear the most powerful and holistic teachings of the wisdom traditions in relation to our most daunting personal and global challenges. nikos works with the unity of Nature and Culture, drawing from the sciences, the arts, and the wisdom traditions.

His educational and consulting practice offers a genuinely holistic approach to creativity and critical thinking, ecoliteracy and true sustainability, achievement and excellence, mindfulness and attention, wellness and stress reduction, burnout prevention and recovery, and more.

This work encompasses the traditional areas of ethics, knowledge, meditation, creativity, beauty, being, and metaphysics, remaining rooted in the ancient Greek orientation of philosophy as a way of life, in which philosophy is seen as therapy for the soul and fundamental to the healthy transformation of self and society. This is the tradition of Western philosophy that influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the approach of world philosophies that have shaped our world.

The philosophical traditions serve as a sacred storehouse of practical wisdom, trainable compassion, and effortless beauty that can help us resolve complex personal and global challenges, uncover our hidden potentials, and realize our highest ideals. Wisdom is what works.