Freebie Friday: Meditation & Me

Hello Readers!

Today, I’m talking about something different, something slightly more personal than I get on this blog.

I don’t sleep well.  I’d like to say it’s all because I have terrible sleeping habits, and while I can’t chalk it all up to that, I have to say I feel like genetics plays a large part of the problem. Several people in my family do not sleep well, and sadly I have followed in their footsteps in the sleep department.

There are nights where I sleep a solid eight hours and I wake up feeling great. Other nights I can sleep ten hours and wake up completely exhausted because it feels, even though I slept, I didn’t actually feel rested. And still there are nights where I sleep a mere three hours and feel completely energized.

It’s the nights where I sleep a mere four hours and wake up feeling like the Energizer bunny that I hate the most. Even though I feel completely alert and awake when I first wake up, I know the inevitable crash is coming. And sometimes that crash doesn’t happen until a day or two later.

Last week between Tuesday night and Thursday night I slept a total of ten hours … combined. It wasn’t until Friday that exhaustion finally caught up with me and I crashed into a soundless sleep.  While I had a great nights sleep on Friday, the previous days were rough. I was tired, run down, and cranky.  And me being a crank isn’t good for anyone.

Well, in the midst of my sleepless week, while complaining about just how tired I am to a coworker, she  asked “have you tried meditating?” I told her I hadn’t.

Thinking about it, I did try meditating a few months ago. I downloaded an app and I really didn’t like it. I thought I didn’t like meditating, but it turns out that I didn’t like the specific app. Even though it had good reviews, it just didn’t work for me.

But as I drove home that evening I thought more about meditating. I was so tired that I figured it was worth another shot. I researched meditating for relaxation and sleeplessness and found the results to be almost overwhelming.  And than I thought I’d try another app.

I found many – some free and some paid. I knew I didn’t necessarily want to pay because I wasn’t certain that it would work (meditating that is) or that I would stick to it. I had the option to give the app I previously used another go, but decided against it figuring if I didn’t like it then I wouldn’t like it now. I scrolled through and came across an app that seemed promising.

It was a free app … what did I have to lose?

Today, I want to share with you, not only what app I decided to try out, but also how I feel about the app as a whole, and if I feel it’s working. I am sharing this information with you in case you find yourself restless and unable to sleep.

I downloaded Simple Habit that is created by Simple Habit, Inc. . This app has a 4.8 rating and  was a Top App of 2017.  This app has been featured on Shark Tank, and it was a Business Insider hottest startup. It has guided meditation instructed by professionals that take just five minutes.  This was a big selling point for me. Yes I am busy, but more than that I don’t have a long attention span. Beyond that this app allows users to track progress, and if they wish to upgrade to the paid version which offers even more features.

Once using the app, users can set how much time they have available to dedicate to the practice of meditating and can also specify why, where, and even when you want to meditating. Because I am just starting out, and want to build up more of an attention and focus so I can fully reap the benefits of meditation.

The first week the app will take you through the Simple Habit Starter – a seven-day cycle that talks you through the basics: breathing, awareness, releasing tension in specific areas of the body, being present and focusing on the now, etc..

I’ve only been using this app for just over a week. But within that week I have found that, not only is it extremely user-friendly, but it doesn’t overload me with information. More than that it doesn’t obsessively remind me that there is a paid version I could take advantage of. (Granted that information is always available, it’s not obnoxiously in your face). I like that I could set a notification reminder, set a specific time of when I want to meditate, and I can specify why exactly I want to meditate (obviously I set it to sleep better).

I started with the Simple Habit Starter (the seven day meditation cycle). Every evening around 9:30, I set aside five minutes to meditate. This five minutes, while it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, is a solid five minutes that are solely mine. I don’t have to worry about work, about problems and issues that have risen in my life. It’s five minutes where I can selfishly focus on me.

This five minutes allows me to not only meditate, but also allows me to clear my head, to be more present in my life and in the world, and to shake my stress away.  At first I didn’t think I would stick with this, but by day four I found that I was looking forward to my five minute meditation sessions.

The big question here is: am I sleeping more?

I’m not sure if I’m exactly sleeping more or better than I normally do, but I can say this: I feel more relaxed when I settle into bed at night. Most nights it takes upwards of twenty minutes to settle in and fall asleep. I found that while my meditating this past week I’ve fallen asleep in record time. The moment I lay down I fall asleep almost immediately.  And while I may not sleep through the entire night, I sleep solidly and restfully for the time I do sleep.

And I have been sleeping more than 4 hours each night, which lately for me is a win.

It’s only been a week and a few days of using this app, but I am liking it. And I am going to be continuing on this meditation journey.

So, dear readers, I hope you have found this post helpful even just a little bit. If you are like me and don’t tend to sleep well, what do you do to sleep better and catch some sound z’s? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments!

(If you’d like an update let’s say in a month or so, please comment and I will definitely do so!)