Breathing In and Out

Sleep has never really been a hard thing for me. I can sleep in a chair, a moving vehicle (I am not fun on long trips because I cannot stay awake), and I can sleep in bed. I have always been the type of sleeper people dream about, within two minutes of my head hitting the pillow I am sawing logs and ready for dreamville. That was at least until the last few months.

I am and will forever be a night owl but even night owls have regular sleeping habits and the last year I have been alternating between my norm and extended hours up to 5, 6, even 7 a.m. ( I will be working on a project and get it in my mind I do not want to stop until I reach a certain point). The extended hours are recking havoc on my sleep patterns and I find myself waking up sometimes hourly before I decide to get up all together and get on with my day feeling like shit.

The last few weeks I have developed my own combat pattern where instead of counting sheep I count breaths.

Beginning with 1, I take in a deep breath fairly slowly and on 2 I let it out slowly. I continue alternating my breaths with each number to the count of 50, forcing myself to focus on my breath and the counting, limiting my multitasking brain to two things. My mind might wander for a second to something else but I quickly corral it back to the breathing and counting.

The trick is to keep the breathing slow enough that I am taking in more air than usual but quick enough that it is comfortable and obviously not too quick that I hyperventilate myself into a sleep.

This provides my brain with more oxygen than it is used to getting. By the time I am done I am either rejuvenated enough to get up early and start the day or relaxed enough to fall asleep for a few more hours. Today I started the day earlier than planned.

How are your sleep habits?

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