Tired of those sleepless nights? I get it.
I’ve been battling and managing insomnia for over two decades, trying all sorts of hacks and tricks. But no matter how hard I tried, falling asleep was always a struggle. But let me be clear; medications were never on my list of options.
Then one night, during my usual insomnia struggle, something clicked. I started counting backward from 100, making sure not to miss a number. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep, having an undisturbed slumber for a good seven hours. Thrilled by this unexpected success, I repeated the counting the next night, focusing on both the numbers and my breathing. Again, seven hours of peaceful sleep. I knew I might be onto something.
I did a little digging and stumbled upon clinical psychologist Michael Breus’ “Count Backwards from 300 by 3s” technique. Breus, in his book The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, explains that a busy mind is often what keeps us tossing and turning at night. He suggests counting backwards from 300 by 3s, a mathematical challenge so boring that it helps you doze off.
Although I hadn’t tried starting from 300, counting 100 backward by skipping two numbers worked like a charm, just as Breus described.
Now, let’s talk about how you can make this method work for you, flawlessly.
Take small steps
Like any habit, this technique takes time to set in. Experiment with different variations of counting backward and find what suits you best. Who knows, you might discover a new approach that works wonders.
Stay clear of all devices
Shut down all screens at least an hour before you start this practice. You want a distraction-free zone when you begin counting. Phones on silent mode or kept away from your bed can work like magic.
Breathe like you mean it
Combine counting backward with focused breathing. Pay attention to the way your breath flows through your body. Gradually, you’ll find your mind letting go of other thoughts. Breathing meditation or loving kindness techniques can complement this practice.
Make it a non-routine practice
Avoid turning this into a rigid routine. Think of it like catching up with a friend each night. Relax into it, treating it as a calming ritual rather than a rigid task.
In addition, consider adding mood enhancers to create the perfect bedtime ambiance. Taking a hot bath, using essential oil diffusers, soft music, fairy lights, or even a little self-massage can work wonders. Just keep it flexible so it doesn’t become another rigid routine.
I genuinely recommend giving this a shot. If you’ve already tried it, share your experience. If you have tried it and it hasn’t worked, try it again. But be kind to your sweet self.
Here’s to many restful nights!
May you find the peaceful slumber you deserve.