How to Enjoy Quality Sleep and Conquer Insomnia?

Follow as many of the sleep hygiene factors as you can, to gently sink into the healing ocean of sleep. For example: No TV in the bed room, No TV news before bed time, Exercise 2 to 3 hours before sleep, Listen to soft music at bed time…so on (1).

Practice ‘Focusing on breathing’ when you wish to sleep. It stops the thoughts, relaxes the body and you will easily fall asleep. Most people will fall asleep in a short time, have less interruptions, sleep longer and feel much better on waking up in the morning.

If your sleep is interrupted, practice the same technique and get back to sleep.

How can I do it?

First, learn the ‘Counting mode’.

Counting mode: During the in-breath feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath, say the number one silently and slowly, as ‘ooone…’, like a chant, keeping its sound alive as long as you are exhaling. When you run out of air stop saying. During the next in-breath, feel the coolness in the nostrils. During the out-breath say ‘twooo…’ like a chant. During the next in-breath feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath say ‘threeee…’, like a  chant.

During the next out-breath don’t count the next higher number. Instead, restart counting from ‘ooone…’. Continue counting the breaths in the same manner, as long as you like. As the out-breath naturally becomes longer, you may have to count each number two times. ‘Ooone….’ may become ‘ooone….ooone….’. When the out-breath becomes even longer, it may become ”ooone….ooone….ooone….’.

Every time your mind wanders and you lose track of the breaths, quietly resume counting the breaths, starting from ‘ooone… ‘. Breathe easily and comfortably. There are no other guidelines for this simple practice. Feel free to adapt the practice to feel calm and relaxed. Follow this pattern of counting breaths when suggested in the other modes. 

Whenever you wish to sleep, begin practicing the ‘Segment mode’ described below.

Segment mode: Every finger has two cross lines dividing the finger into three segments. Begin with one hand, say the left hand. Place the tip of the thumb at the top segment of the little finger. Count three breaths as explained above. Shift the thumb to the middle segment and count three breaths. Shift the thumb to the bottom segment and count three breaths.

Repeat counting three breaths at each segment of the next 3 fingers, the ring finger, middle finger and the index finger. At the thumb, place the tip of the index finger on its segments and repeat the steps.

Then, switch to the right hand and repeat the same practice.

Continue practicing, switching the hands. When you feel sleepy and don’t like to move the fingers, switch to the ‘Counting mode’.

Counting mode: Count your breaths in sets of three. Whenever you don’t like to count, switch to the ‘Feeling mode’. In this mode we don’t use the fingers.

Feeling mode: Simply feel the breath. Breathing in, feel the faint coolness inside the nose. Breathing out, feel the faint warm or neutral sensation in the nose. Additionally, you can place a palm on the abdomen and focus on its slight inward and outward movements as you breathe out and breath-in. In this mode we don’t use the fingers or count the breaths.

How to tame ‘Stubborn insomnia’

Most practitioners are relieved of insomnia in  few days by practicing this technique (7). A few with chronic insomnia could get only a little relief. They practiced additional routines and had better to total success (4).

  • Recommended by ‘Dr. Padma Sripada M.D’ (3): “I introduced this technique to some of my patients with anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension and insomnia. Everyone who adopted it reported that it helps them relax. Some said it helped them sleep better and no longer rely on medications.”
  • Patient ‘Zina Hymes’: “Since almost 19 years I have had great difficulty sleeping, as I was in extreme pain due to Fibromyalgia. I was not able to sleep even with the aid of many medications prescribed by a sleep specialist. None of them compare with these breathing techniques. I can now get many hours of consecutive sleep. After many years, I am now able to do some of my household chores like vacuuming and also drive my car! I suggest these techniques to everyone to reduce stress and gain profound energy.”

(1) Secrets of a Great Night’s sleep by Barbara Stevens
(2) Why repeat the number being counted?
(3) Relief from insomnia – Numerous success stories
(4) How to tame stubborn insomnia?
(5) Padma Sripada M.D

Related pages
How can I enjoy quality sleep? PDF
Sleep/ Insomnia – Web pages I like
Sleep – Books I Like

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