Anybody suffer from insomnia? It’s kind of a new thing for me developed over the past few years. I can lay awake for hours before falling asleep. Annoying and makes for a hard morning. I’ve tried lots of remedies but the only thing that really works is Tylenol PM. Problem is, it only starts working once morning has arrived.
Yesterday I saw something about a 4 – 7 – 8 breathing technique. It is used to calm anxious nerves or help a person fall asleep. I had zero confidence that this thing would work, but it didn’t stop me from trying it. It’s a three step process that works like this:
- Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold the breath for 7 seconds
- Release the air through your mouth for 8 seconds
Sounds easy, right? Well not so much. I had to practice it several times before I got it right. I kept wanting to breathe in the same time I was breathing out. Well anyway, I finally mastered it. Some of the people that commented on this on the internet article I read, insisted they were asleep before that first 8 second breathe-out was complete. I was skeptical but hopeful.
Did it work? No, I didn’t fall asleep. Yes, it was very relaxing. So relaxing I could almost tolerate the snoring going on beside me. Finally, I got tired of all the counting. Maybe it’s the same principle as counting sheep. A person just gets so bored with the repetitive counting they finally go to sleep. Except not me. As usual my mind was going in dozens of different directions, but I couldn’t concentrate on anything but counting and what part of the breathing I was supposed to be doing. So, I quit counting. And guess what – I missed it! Yep, I wanted to do it some more. The shallow breaths I take in normal breathing couldn’t compare with the relaxation of the 3 step process, counting and all. And that thing with the snoring – well – that benefit couldn’t be ignored. I think I’ll do it again tonight.
So you try it. Let me know it works for you. And if you’ve got a tried and true method for battling insomnia, leave a comment and tell me about it.
If nothing else, this little exercise in futility gave me a great idea for a short story. Going to write it tomorrow after a “good night’s sleep.” If you’d like to see that story make its way to a blog post, comment and tell me so. Enough encouragement and I might be persuaded. . .