Trouble Sleeping? Try a trick from yoga

I assume, you or some one you know with a brain injury has a hard time sleeping. I know I did during my recovery and I still continue to struggle sleeping to this date.

In my quest to find a solution I have came to the conclusion that ONE of the main factors in finding a restful nights sleep lies in concentration.  I believe one of the biggest contributing factors to why people with brain injuries and even people with out brain injuries cannot not get a restful nights sleep is they lack the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time.

When I say “lack” the ability to concentrate, I am not saying that these people (myself included) are incompetent. I am saying it is very difficult for us to concentrate on a certain task. The task of falling asleep is a tricky one and can very easily be unobtainable.

It’s so easy to think about all the things that is happening in your life, instead of concentrating on sleeping. So what should you focus on that won’t get you excited or anxious?

I work at a health club and I had a conversation with a yoga instructor about how I am so excited about my life and the direction it is heading that I couldn’t sleep. He told me that I should try meditating. I said I had try that but I didn’t know what I should focus on to fall into that deep meditation and find peace. “How do you think about nothing?”

He told me to concentrate on my breathing. He said concentrate and the second you find yourself thinking of what you are doing, you are no longer meditating. He told me that it would take awhile but soon those breaks would become further apart.

The very first night I tried this I fell right to sleep. I listened to my breaths go in and out and I tried to control my breathing. Almost slow it down if it was too fast. It helped so much. The biggest area that it helps is that I am able to take my mind off of everything thats going on in my life and able to concentrate on nothing.

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  • Sue Ball  On June 1, 2011 at 11:43

    I’m so glad to see this tip on your blog!
    I’ve also used meditation and deep relaxation techniques learned in regular yoga classes, not only to relearn the art of sleeping after a TBI (5 years ago), but also as a way to manage the extreme head pain that I often suffered in the months after my TBI.
    Neurologists told me “all head pain is called headache” – but then they have not had a TBI!!I thought a headache was something you took an asperin for – NOTHING would touch these awful episodes, they rendered me speechless, phonophobic and barely capable of movement.
    I was reluctant to take very heavy duty painkillers as suggested for these disabling attacks which could render me helpless for a day at a time.
    Instead, I would go to lay on my bed in a darkened room and focus on r-e-l-a-x ing – NOT easy when you are in excrutiating pain; the first thing to do is ACCEPT the pain, then concentrate hard on relaxing….and
    B R E A T H E!
    I got so good at this, I would fall asleep……. and awake later without the pain!
    I later discovered through a friend that deep relaxation techniques used to be taught as a pain management tool in the 1950’s in UK hospitals – why is it now disregarded??
    I KNOW that it works and have discovered that another friend with TBI had done exactly the same- so either we are both mad, or we were using our intuition really well!
    I should also add that I also had a lot of acupuncture from 6 months after my TBI and those awful debilitating attacks of head pain steadily diminished, becoming shorter and milder as I had treatment.
    Good luck with your future and I’m sure plenty of people will appreciate the information in your blog. Sue

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