Using Mindful Meditation to Manage Insomnia

Last updated: June 2022

I have suffered from migraine disease for many years. As the disease has progressed, I have become familiar with many different symptoms accompanying it. Some more pervasive ones for me are insomnia, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms haunt me even when I am not in the throes of an attack.

Managing symptoms with alternative therapies

My headache specialist is aware of these and has been working with me to find acceptable ways of helping me manage the symptoms. I’ve always been uninterested in drug therapies, but with a chronic illness, that just isn’t an option for me anymore. I do still actively seek out non-drug therapies to help manage my conditions and their symptoms, though.

Biofeedback and mindful meditation

I started with biofeedback, an alternative therapy, a year ago and found that it had some very appealing elements. As a branch off of that therapy, I tried a combination of acupuncture and CBD oil. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much relief from them, so again, I branched out and found mindful mediation. I proceeded to dive into the different options of this therapy cautiously. There are many avenues to explore in this arena, like ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), breathwork, hypnosis, plain meditation, binaural beats, and storytelling formats, to mention a few.

A focus on insomnia

My initial focus was on trying to manage my insomnia. Interrupted sleep, for me, has always been a huge trigger. I also suffer from two types of sleep apnea, which makes things more difficult to manage! I started by investing in an app called Aura. It has so many options for you to choose from, so it was a worthwhile investment for me. I began by utilizing the different mindful practices that focused on helping you sleep well. I also found a couple of good programs on Netflix from Headspace that were good tools for me. I’m sure there are many other platforms to find mindful meditation practices, but I’ve found these are working for me right now, and I’m kind of excited.

What didn't work for me?

Some aspects of mindfulness I have found just don’t seem to work with me, like hypnosis and ASMR. I don’t know if I’m just weird, but these two types made me chuckle when I tried them. I really tried to settle into them seriously, but it’s just not my cup of tea, I guess, unless I want a laugh!

What worked for my migraine?

However, I find the breathwork, guided meditation, and storytelling quite calming and helpful. It has been much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep now than before, and I don’t have to rely on my Ambien as much. I use breathing techniques to help keep me calm and relaxed, which really reduces my anxiety. It helps so I’m not as anxious about sleeping or when my next migraine attack will appear. This combination, along with my preventatives and abortives for migraines, has been a very good experience. I would recommend it to anyone who may be open to trying something new to manage the symptoms of chronic illness or even just enhance life. It would be nice to hear your thoughts!

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