I'm a horrible sleeper. As a mom, it seems as though my to-do list wakes me up each and every night. On many nights, my thoughts also prevent me from falling asleep in the first place. I tried all of the sleep hacks — blackout shades, a white noise machine, a consistent sleep schedule, CBD oil, and more — but nothing worked. So, after complaining to several of my friends, they recommended meditation. After months of putting it off, I downloaded the app Headspace — and what a difference it has made already.
At first, I was skeptical. While I'm a reasonably calm person, concentrating on, well, nothing, is not my forte.
Headspace is a mindfulness app with countless meditation exercises. It's all audio, which helps your brain stay focused. There are meditations to help calm down, diffuse anger, focus, and of course, help with your sleep. At first, I was skeptical. While I'm a reasonably calm person, concentrating on, well, nothing, is not my forte. I'm basically a yoga flunky. But without sleep, I'm also very grumpy — so I knew I needed to try to fix this problem in order for our home to be a little happier.
The first night I tried the meditation app, my husband was away, which made it a bit easier for me to focus. I darkened the bedroom, turned on the ceiling fan, nuzzled into bed, and pressed play on a sleep meditation. A voice instructed me to simply close my eyes as I rested on my back. She directed me to imagine my body melting into the mattress. I started with my toes and then worked all the way up to the hair on the top of my head. The idea was that the stress from each body part would simply evaporate as I thought about it floating away.
It worked immediately. I felt very relaxed, so after the five-minute meditation was over, I flipped over to my stomach to go to sleep. Sure, my mind wandered a little bit, thinking about my jobs for the next day — but overall, it was much less than typical nights. However, the best perk from using Headspace is that it has not only helped me fall asleep but also stay sleep.
On most nights, my thoughts would literally wake me up. "Hey! Remember to make those dentist appointments for the kids!" my brain would yell. Or, "Don't forget to buy the after-game snack for the kids' soccer game!" Then once I was awake, I'd never be able to fall back to sleep. I'd be exhausted and grumpy the next day, and then the following night, the whole performance would start over again. It was a real treat. I was a real treat.
But when I use Headspace before going to bed, I find that I stay asleep for almost the entire night. I still get up to use the bathroom around 5 a.m., but I've been delighted to find that I can easily fall back to sleep — without listening to the app again. I wake up refreshed most mornings. Sure, there are some evenings that the app works better than others, but overall, I've been immensely pleased. So, now that Mom is well rested, I'm much more pleasant to deal with — a real win for everyone in the house.