There. I’ve always wanted to write a click-bait headline. ;)
But seriously, there is a payoff here. We’ll get there in a moment.
Insomnia, especially as you grow older, can be a serious problem. Once you have knee pain, it gets even worse.
Insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep, is an enemy to someone trying to heal their knees. Sleep is your friend. Sleep allows your body to rest and recover. Also, at sleep, your body is relaxed and your legs fairly straight, both of which should make you feel more comfortable.
Now, on to how to beat occasional sleeplessness. To be fair, I’m talking more about mild insomnia. Mine often comes after waking up around three a.m. to use the bathroom, then settling back into bed and lying there awake for 10, 15, 20 minutes, thinking, “Why can’t I drop back asleep?”
This trick has to do with breathing.
In the sleep state, you take longer, slower breaths. One night, as I was having difficulty falling asleep, I challenged myself to start breathing as if I were sleeping. That is, I tried to make my breathing slower and deeper.
Within minutes, I actually fell asleep.
I found this experiment quite interesting, so I repeated it another night. When I couldn’t sleep, I just focused on my breathing. Slowly in, slowly out, slowly in, slowly out.
Again, I fell asleep after a few minutes.
Now, the thing is, you actually have to focus on your breathing. You can’t just say, “I’m breathing more deeply now,” then let your mind wander. You have to concentrate on breathing in and out slowly, as if you’re sleeping.
And I’m finding that when you do that, sleep will usually follow.
Anyway, as everyone who reads this blog knows, I’m extremely curious and love to experiment. This is one case where it really paid off well for me. I sleep better now. I don’t need the sleep because of bad knees anymore, but because I have a 10-hour-a-day job and a one-and-a-half hour commute to work. That’s good enough reason for me!