Put me in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle and I will doze off in minutes. Red-eye flights are no big-I snoozeВ soundly even while blasted by thatВ frigid airplane AC and feel plenty rested upon landing. I fall asleep in movie theatersВ all the time.В But at the end of the day, in the comfort of my (very expensive) foam-mattress bed? Forget it-most nights, I'm left staring at the ceiling for ages until I finally succumb toВ aВ few hours of fitful sleep.
I'm fairly certain there's no way of completely reversing myВ insomnia. My mother has been a terrible sleeper for as long as I can remember, and since the condition is often hereditary, I've pretty much come to accept that this isВ asВ my genetic cross to bear, along with bad eyesight and frizz-prone hair.В I've certainly learned some tips and lessons over the years that have taken this problem from truly awful to just okay-for example, I always sleep a bit better when I'm exercising regularly, eating well, and activelyВ looking for ways to de-stress.
One suchВ outlet is meditation. ButВ while it has workedВ wonders for my daily anxieties, most bedtime mindfulness exercises really haven't helped me fall asleep any quicker. That is until I learned about a trick that isВ so simple, I can't believe it didn't occur to me sooner.В
Earlier this week, Jesse SingalВ atВ New YorkВ wrote about a strategy that helped himВ start meditating after strugglingВ to establish the habit for a long time. It'sВ incredibly straightforward: You simply breathe in and out, 25 times, counting each breath as you go. There's no holding your breath or sustaining an exhale over a certain amount of beats-frankly, doing this usually results in lightheadedness for me. You're just counting each breath. That's it.
The evening after reading that article, I was lying awake in bed (per usual) when I remembered this trick. I began to count: BreatheвЂ¦ OneвЂ¦ BreatheвЂ¦ TwoвЂ¦ BreatheвЂ¦ ThreeвЂ¦
Counting 12 or 13 is the last thing I remembered when I woke up in a sleepy stupor the next morning. Is this what well-rested feels like?Slip Silk Pillowcase $80Shop
Obviously, one night does not a success story make-maybe three nights doesn't either, but I can say that as of right now, I can actually envision a future where I'm not perpetually sleep-deprived. Over the past week, I've dozed off like clockwork. If I hit 25, I just start over again and cycle through until I'm in dreamland.В
I do anticipate that sleeping deeply without waking up throughout the night will still be a struggle for me, butВ I feel like I'm finallyВ working through the toughestВ obstacle. Now if anyone knows ofВ a wayВ to meditate my way to 20/20 vision, please email me immediately.
Insomniacs: How do you deal? What's your best tip for falling asleep fast? Sound off below!