There was one breakthrough in The Times journalist Katie Morris’s fight against sleep deprivation: when a fellow insomniac recommended Acem Meditation – according to her own article in the newspaper’s mental health section on December 20, 2011.
It’s four in the morning and I am staring into the darkness, aware that in just three hours, it will be time to get up. It’s going to be hard to cope with the day ahead, which makes me fret and worry. I am overwrought and exhausted, but too alert to sleep.
This is how The Times journalist Kate Morris begins her partly autobiographic account of sleep deprivation, a problem one in five people suffer from at some point in their lives. One famous insomniac, the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group says: “Now I understand why they use sleep deprivation to torture prisoners.” “Night-time has never been great for me,” the journalist says.
She has tried a long list of remedies: homeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, massage, over-the-counter drugs, yoga, hypnotherapy, regular exercise, lavender spray, something called Jin Shin Jyutsu, meditative walking around a labyrinth in Arizona, and listening to a CD of ambient music for insomniacs. Some of them helped a bit, others not. Sleeping pills seemed to help, but made her feel hungover, as though she had a permanent jet lag.
Her problem hasn’t been cured, and her article was written after she turned on the light at 2.14 am. Still, she writes, things are better now than they used to be:
“There was one breakthrough: when a fellow insomniac recommended Acem Meditation. If I practise this simple meditation daily my sleep patterns are better, but I need a good chunk of time to do it properly. I sometimes use it as a method to fall asleep for a ten-minute nap, which always leaves me refreshed.”
Nice to know for insomniacs who are looking for help, or for people who practise Acem Meditation for loads of other reasons.