Phone: (724) 683-2750
It’s no secret African Americans have a higher risk of certain medical conditions, causing our life expectancy to be shorter. According to the CDC, “disparities in the leading causes of deaths for blacks compared with whites remain large and persistent across the life span.”
Onika Reigns founded Black Dream Escape in hopes of extending lives.
“Unexpected death and forced death is so common with Black and indigenous people. It’s not something that we get to choose; rest is…it’s a way to take back some freedom,” said Reigns.
Black Dream Escape is a therapeutic practice that centers Black and indigenous rest as a primary component of holistic mental health. They provide intentional rest opportunities through both communal and individual rest services.
Reigns is quick to point out that rest does not always have to equate to sleeping.
“People are surprised by all the ways you can rest,” said Reigns. “We don’t recommend sleeping as much as other organizations would. We really help people understand that walking and that bilateral circulation is a form of rest. Sitting on the porch, breathing, maintaining flowers or plants can also be forms of rest.”
Reigns says many Black and indigenous people have what she considers a collective sleep debt.
“Sleep debt is a technical term for the science of sleep that if you don’t get enough sleep after so many nights, you accrue this sleep debt. You can pay it off by fixing your regimen.”
To fix that regimen, Black Dream Escape offers a free initial 15-minute consultation to better identify rest practices that suit you. Services like lullaby sessions, therapy workshops, and rest aids to better develop rest practices.
Reigns says African Americans owe it to themselves to take better advantage of rest opportunities.
Black Dream Escape will begin accepting new clients in the spring.
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