Problem of pondering:
He was sitting in chair with eyes closed. No sound of snoring or palpable nostrils. I looked closely but no rapid eye moment was visible. He was not dreaming. Television was blaring news. It continued for about ten minutes, when I made a noise. ‘When you came? Was I asleep?’ was the response. He was not asleep. Just in deep thought. So when are we actually asleep or awake?
This question first struck me when I heard an Urdu Song (Gazal) which had words ‘thinking and being awake is the river of breath, that is called me.’ Sleep is synonymous to dreams but we recall only those dreams which we saw immediately before being awake. The example of deep thinking being similar to sleep is given above. It appears that while thinking is verbose, dreaming is pictorial, in tune with the primitive sub-conscious mind. While being awake is one option the other is to sleep with dreams (sweet or otherwise) or think.
Problem of insomnia.
Insomnia, the modern ghost haunting nearly every human is nothing but a state of active or passive thinking which is incompatible with dreaming. I think the people with insomnia should try to visualize the beautiful pictures, (not exciting pictures inviting action) instead of verbose thinking. This may kick in dreaming which is another state of sleep.
Now how much to sleep is another matter. Sleep is a necessity but too much may induce idolatry habits.