As a sufferer of insomnia, I am writing this article from experience. The experience I had was not a great one as for several weeks I had a terrible time with my sleeping pattern and my ability to fall and stay asleep.
This caused me a great deal of trouble when it came to my professional and home life; I couldn’t get to work on time, the time I was at work I found myself too exhausted to concentrate and too irritable to socialise with my colleagues. At home I was too tired to enjoy my personal time and socialise with my friends in anyway, my relationships with people suffered as a result.
You will come to know through reading this article that I was able to manage my condition and restore myself back to my energetic, social and working state with the practice and art of Yoga.
What is Insomnia?
A condition that affects the ability to get to sleep and/or stay asleep in order to get a full night’s sleep and to be able to feel well rested when you have woken. Insomnia can be caused by an anxious, stressful or unhealthy lifestyle (including excessive alcohol consumption and drug use). It is important to note that insomnia can be caused by other mental conditions such as depression or schizophrenia.
Now I believe the “stress factor” is the direct cause of my insomnia, worrying about my performance at work, unhealthily over working my mind even in my own time and importantly when I was trying to sleep. Eventually even the thought of not being able to get to sleep while I was trying to get to sleep consumed me and it became a “vicious cycle”, waking up in the night and finally when morning came my focus was impaired and my senses were dulled.
My Discovery of Yoga
My friends naturally became concerned about me, and so I opened up to one of my closest friends who happened to practice yoga in her free time at home, she suggested that I give it a try as she claims it helps her relax before she goes to sleep and guarantees she feels well rested every morning.
It turns out that yoga can be used as a tool for controlling your body and mind, a way to focus on your goals and a means of exercise and so for me this means a way to reduce my stress levels and give myself the attention I need. I decided I had nothing to lose and gave it a go at home by watching videos and reading guides online in order to acquaint myself with the asanas (or poses) and I carried on from there, sometimes joining my friend at her house for practice and guidance.
So did it work?
After two weeks of yoga practise and familiarising myself with the beginner poses (my favourite being “The Warrior”) and through them I have found that I can relax very well for an hour before bedtime.
This greatly reduces the stresses caused by my job and by financial issues which were suffering as a result of insomnia. My friends guarantee is still valid as now I continue to feel well rested in the morning, going to work with a maintained focus and an increase in concentration, I feel revitalised. I am now a member of a yoga club alongside my friend, and I have met more friends along the way; my social life has improved and I can finally sleep soundly.