Patience is most definitely not one of my virtues. I’m a go big and go hard right now kind of person. I also find myself regularly plagued with worry at night – starting with something small, like whether I filed something, and snowballing in to what on earth I’m going to do with my entire life and will I ever find true joy in my career and family and…
You get it. Anyway these thoughts are very much not conducive to a good night’s sleep. I go through cycles of sleeping through the night, then lying awake between 1.30-4.30 in a total flap, incapable of going back to sleep, and the frustration of that truth chasing me around in circles while the minutes rock freakishly closer to work wake-up call.
The irregular insomnia has plagued me for years and I’ve tried all sorts of things: magnesium tablets, getting out of bed and sitting in another room until I feel sleepy, reading, being on my phone (admittedly my default state), I begged a doctor for sleeping pills (no dice), doing some light stretches, lying with my eyes closed and slowly willing each body part from my toes to my head to sleep. Once I tried counting sheep which felt completely idiotic.
None worked and I resigned myself to being inconsistently a grump from no sleep. Friends of mine didn’t understand how I get through days at the firm after a night of tossing and turning, but the reality was I simply had to get on with it because I didn’t think I could change.
At a brunch a friend began telling me about how she’d commenced a meditation club at work. It was borne out of her new meditation practice, motivated by her brother who had been meditating to help calm him. She had found the practice so simple and beneficial that she wanted to share it. Upon hearing how I would sleep through maybe 2-4 nights of the week, she became evangelical about meditating before bed, and the headspace app particularly.
As one always open to new apps and new crazy things, I gave it a shot. I had the app ready to go as I got into bed for the evening. Officially you’re supposed to sit somewhere quiet but I just listened while lying in bed, and followed the quiet instructions of Andy. I slept like a baby, a real deep sleep. And it worked over and over and over again.
I’ve been on and off meditating before bed for a few months. While it isn’t a 100% success rate, it’s pretty close. I find my sleep to be infinitely more restful after using headspace than when I play around on Instagram before bed. I’ve had the free pack on repeat, and it is part of my habit building to make meditating before bed an effortless part of my routine.
There are so many apps out there for meditating, or you can just listen to music and find some peace. Whatever works for you. The benefits are undoubtedly great across many facets of life – for me, it has brought healing into my sleep, which I thought was beyond repair. For others it brings peace at work, or stronger focus. It’s life-changing. I couldn’t recommend it more.