Sleeplessness getting the better of you? Are you constantly tired and it hampers you in your work, fitness efforts and life in general? A simple and natural technique can ease your insomnia.
I Can’t Get No Sleep!
In my life on and off I often had to deal with insomnia and I’m not alone: sleep problems affect about 60% of population in the United States. A long time ago even my own doctor told me that most people who come to see him have insomnia as number one reason, next to depression.
When we take a real close look at our daily lives, it’s quite easy to figure out why people suffer from an inability to sleep. We work too much, we rest too little, we allow stress to penetrate our being, and rely too heavily on the crutches that are caffeine and medication.
But just because these days there is a pill for everything doesn’t mean that taking them is the best solution. Since I myself in the past suffered with depression, anxiety and insomnia, I’ve tried all the traditional methods, and I realized that they only cure the symptoms, not the cause. And once you take care of one symptom, the cause will develop other symptoms. It’s like running inside a wheel.
I have gone through it, and one thing I can tell you for sure: relying on prescription sleeping medication for a long time is not the solution. Not only will the problem try to find another release valve, these little pills can also be very damaging to your health. If things are really tough it’s OK to resort to these aids temporarily, but it’s not the answer to the problem.
A Very Simple Practice To Calm Your Mind
But what to do instead when we lie there on our beds, so desperately trying to sleep?
When we look at it, the reason why many of us have trouble falling asleep is that we have our thoughts running marathons in our head. My solution was a personal ritual that helps me to deal with that and it very well might work for you, too. It’s a simple and calming breathing technique, or “breathing meditation”, preferably done right before bedtime It will not only quiet your running thoughts, it will also help your body to get rid of stress.
To practice it, all you have to do is lay down on the bed with your palms up, begin breathing very deeply and be aware of your breath. You can also think of the word “calm”, but if you are having trouble with that, just focus on your breath. Additionally, what can also help is some relaxing music playing quietly in the background or on headphones.
If while doing this thoughts come to your mind, don’t try to push them away. Let them come, give them a nod without analyzing and then let them pass, while you still keep focusing on your breath.
The reason why this works for many people is that it takes the “pushing away” of unpleasant thoughts out of the picture. We have issues in our lives that literally keep us awake and by allowing them to come to the forefront without analyzing them before we go to sleep, we acknowledge them. It’s a bit like a king or queen holding court, before he or she can finally settle down.
The more you practice this, the more understanding you’ll have of what troubles your mind and that will allow you to address these things after you had a good night’s sleep. It will not work immediately, but can help you deal with insomnia in the long run.
A Few More Tips
Everyday, I try to go for a short run outside, about 2-3 hours before I go to sleep. This doesn’t have to be an intense run, just a light jog, or you can even do a fast paced walk. If you gonna run then 10 minutes is a good time, if you’re gonna walk 20 minutes will do. Just a little physical exercise has been shown to tremendously improve sleep duration and quality.
I also suggest to do something every evening that will place you in a very positive and good mood before sleeping. This can be reading something funny, or watching a funny video, or simply have a good laugh with your family. You’d be surprised how laughter almost magically cures stress.
If you combine all these things together, your insomnia may just go away entirely or at least become more manageable.