I used to complain and complain about how very tired I was.
Years ago, I had trouble sleeping. And I complained about it all day long. Whoever wanted to hear, I told them about my lack of sleep, about how the kids kept me up all night, and how so so tired I am.
But it wasn’t only about the kids. Since I’m a child, I’ve had trouble falling asleep. That wasn’t something new, it was something that was just a part of me. Then came babies, waking up to nurse or give a bottle, just because… and I was up all night.
The night would start with me trying to fall asleep and finally, finally drifting off to sleep…then boom, a child wakes up. By the time said child was sleeping, I was very much awake. And the cycle would continue all night long. I would stare at the clock, watch the numbers turn, while twisting and turning and crying, “Why can’t I sleep?” (Yes, I considered taking a sleeping pill, but that wouldn’t work if I had children who needed me.)
One day I had enough. I thought it was time I took control of my sleep and not my sleep in control of me. I implemented a few things:
- No looking at the clock. The more I focused on the clock, the worse the sleep was. No easily visible clock, no more checking the time.
- No more talking about it. I stopped telling everyone how I don’t sleep well, I stopped complaining to my sister how many times the baby woke up, how many kids came to my bed…you get the idea. In the past few years I broke my rule a few times but most of time I do NOT focus on it anymore. I broke my rule to write this post.
- I learned a simple breathing technique that does help me fall back asleep easier once someone wakes me up. It’s called the 4-7-8 breathing method. The basic idea is inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. This breathing technique has been proven to help people fall asleep in a shorter period of time. (I found it via Google one night while trying…you guessed it…to fall asleep.)
* image credit Casper Sleep Website
That’s all. No major breakthrough. Am I sleeping long? Definitely not. Have I been sleeping better? Definitely yes. Do I still sleep very little every night? Definitely. However, I don’t dwell on it. I found that expressing my tiredness actually made me more tired! And that I’m less tired when I don’t think or complain about it. Now, I feel more at peace with my sleep patterns. Will I ever sleep 8+ hours like some other people can? I don’t think so. But I’m productive, happy, and I try to convince myself that I do not need sleep as much as other people…maybe.
One last thing.. I am not an insomniac. I got rid of that word too. I simply sleep less than other people. It’s all in the marketing.
This breathing exercise is wonderful for relaxing yourself when you feel tense, anxious…
works best when you close your eyes and block everything out, just focus on the air coming in, filling you up and exhaling the tension
Was hoping for a magic potion lol
Interesting. I recently heard a technique to tell other people at least once a day how well you sleep… I started doing that and I feel it’s made a difference…