The topic at a glance
Causes of Insomnia in Early Recovery
Insomnia is a common experience in early recovery. Usually, things improve once we get beyond our initial withdrawal symptoms, but if the problem persists, it can mean we turn into walking zombies, and this makes it hard to get the most from rehab. This inability to sleep well at night can be due to several causes such as:
Mindfulness Tools for Insomnia
Here are five mindfulness tools that can make it easier to fall asleep at night:
1. Qigong – Bamboo in the Wind
A full qigong routine prior to bed could make you too energized for sleep, but there are certain individual exercises that can help you unwind and relax. Bamboo in the Wind is an easy technique to perform, you only need to do it for a minute or so, and it allows you to release stress from the body.
To practice Bamboo in the Wind, stand up straight with your feet together and your knees slightly bend. Put your hands resting across the stomach. You then close your eyes and allow yourself to gently sway from side to side like a bamboo being moved by the wind. The important word here is ‘allow’ – don’t make yourself sway, just allow it to happen. As your body moves, you will be releasing stress that has built up over the course of the day.
2. Body Scan Focusing on Tiredness in the Body
A body scan can be relaxing by itself, but if you focus your attention on those parts of the body where there is tiredness, you may find that this calms down a restless mind enough that you are easily able to fall asleep. It is like you are being pulled under by the physical tiredness.
To perform a body scan, simply move your attention through the different parts of the body starting at the feet. As soon as you notice some physical tiredness (e.g. tired legs), just keep your focus on this sensation as best you can.
3. Promoting Sleepy Thoughts
You may have noticed that prior to falling asleep, our thinking goes a bit irrational. This movement from normal thinking to nonsensical thinking needs to happen so we can leave the problems of the day behind and fall into sleep. If we are still thinking about our concerns and difficulties, our mind is unlikely to become calm enough for us to slip under.
It is an uphill struggle to get our mind to settle down once it has got its teeth into a juicy worry. So, rather than trying to stop these thoughts, we could try moving our thinking in a different direction. A good way of doing this is to generate random words and random images in your head, this can disengage your mind long enough to pull you down into sleep.
4. Focusing on the Breath in the Stomach
By focusing on the rising and falling of the breath in the lower stomach, we can access a state of comfort and security – it is almost like being held. Moving your attention to this lower part of the body makes it easier to slow down discursive thinking.
Probably one of the worst things you can do when trying to sleep is to go to war with your mind. This only increases the agitation in the mind. If you have tried a few techniques, and you are still no closer to sleep, the best option may be to just allow your body/mind to do what it wants to do. Even if you don’t fall asleep, at least you can get some physical rest by lying still and allowing the mind to be calm (i.e. not worrying about your failure to go to sleep). This state of acceptance often opens the door for sleepiness to arise.
Has this information helped you? It would help us a lot if you shared it via social media.
Other Topics That Might Interest You
Singing Bowl Therapy
Sound therapy is based on the idea that vibration is a foundational principle of our universe. We can use sound as an aid to meditation and relaxation.
What Saint Patrick Can Teach Us About Hope
Saint Patrick is a wonderful example of the power of hope. Being kidnapped at a young age is highly traumatizing, yet he returned a hero.
The Joy of Climbing Your Own Personal Everest
It is by overcoming incredible challenges that we become better able to deal with life. This realization is often what is driving climbers of Mountain Everest. It is never about life becoming easier, but about us becoming better at navigating it.
What Can Gurkhas Teach Us About Mental Toughness
Learn from the Gurkhas. If we are serious about improving our life, it is mental toughness that we may need to develop rather than just waiting for things to get easier.
A Christmas Gift with Hope Rehab Thailand
If you really want this Christmas to be different, perhaps the wisest course of action would be to seek help with the things that are holding you back. This would not only many a better festive season but more importantly a better life