Deep breathing for 30 minutes before sleep. No iPod/iPhone in the room. No documentaries, audio books, etc before bed. Just breathe—while Indu scratches head slowly.
Nearly every day for the past year I have gone to sleep listening to my iPod/Audiobooks/podcasts/Netflix documentaries. Something about Neil Degrasse Tyson’s voice soothes me to sleep in minutes. Turns out that falling asleep with headphones in your ears or head buried into a pillow with an iPhone playing on the other side of it is not good for you. Importantly, this is a crutch for sleeping. It was a struggle to stop taking Ambien after five years and i’m encouraged to find that after one night away from the sleep-aid-gadgets I can likely kick this habit as well.
A note on quitting Ambien.
It is all mental. As in 100%. Supposedly this is one of the most addictive drugs out there. The few times I didn’t take it in those five years I could not sleep. Not because I couldn’t sleep, but because “I didn’t take my Ambien, so i’m not going to be able to sleep”. Fortunately for me, getting an Ambien prescription is extremely annoying and difficult. So when I finally realized it had to stop, if for no other reason than avoiding that monthly doctor appointment to get a prescription, I experienced extreme anxiety.
Day one. I didn’t take Ambien. So I am not going to be able to sleep.
Day two. I’m super deliriously tired. I didn’t take Ambien. So I am not going to be able to stay asleep. Asleep within maybe an hour. Woke up once. I’m not going to be able to sleep. Fell asleep again.
Day three. I fell asleep. I stayed asleep. I woke up a couple times early in the morning. Fell back to sleep.
Back to breathing and sleep
I’ve noticed in the first three days of this experiment that deep breathing reduces anxiety. In fact, the effects are similar to Ambien. The fear of not being able to sleep is why I believe I have had difficulty sleeping. That isn’t my opinion as a result of this experiment, this has always been my opinion.
The cliche is to say that it is so easy to pop a pill for everything. While true, I am coming to find out that it is just easy to not pop a pill and just breathe.
Not have that shot of tequila because it is last call. Grab a water.
Next step, not eating available cookies in $2.99 plastic container from Ralph’s when starving.