Do You Count Sheep?

Do you ever count so many sheep while trying to get off to sleep that you think that they are practically friends? Russell Stark almost thought that he was part of the flock until he learned the Buteyko method.

Russell: 'Close friends called me 'Running-Late-Russ', or asked if I was referring to 'Stark time' instead of real time when I told them when to expect me. This was because I almost always needed a snooze and a cup of coffee before leaving the house, which meant that I was generally late arriving.

'I was chronically tired even though I spent hours in bed. I say hours in bed, because while I lay there for a long time, sound sleep was hard to come by. I would fall asleep quickly because I was so tired, but after about three hours I would wake up with a blocked nose, needing to go to the toilet and to have a drink of water. After this I would lay there feeling as if I was almost asleep, but not quite, or I would sleep fitfully, seeing every hour on the clock pass by.

'Finally I would go into a deep, sound sleep for one or two hours, waking to the alarm, and feeling terrible until I had my second cup of coffee. Every morning I woke with aching shoulders and quite often I also woke with a stiff neck that needed frequent chiropractic attention.'

Jennifer: 'I slept badly partly because of my own snoring, but also because Russell snored such a lot, and also had jerky leg movements that kept waking me. He would lie on his back and quickly bend his knees up towards the ceiling and then slowly slide his feet down to the bottom of the bed again. This action meant that the blankets were lifted off me and then dropped back again, over and over until I kicked him, and then he would roll over and stop for a while. He also got up to the bathroom at least twice every night. We thought that he was young to have prostate problems, but that is what it seemed like.'

Russell: 'I could not believe that I would be able to just go to sleep and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, but after I learned the Buteyko Method that is exactly what happened to me. Apart from getting rid of my asthma, which was why I did the course in the first place, it was probably the most exciting outcome of learning Buteyko. I felt about 10 years younger, was much less irritable, and I stopped needing all that coffee just to function. My friends were amazed when I started turning up on time instead of half an hour late!'

Jennifer: 'The difference to my sleep when Russell started using the Buteyko techniques was incredible. Because he wasn't waking me several times a night I felt much better during the day time, and once I improved my own breathing I felt even better.'

Breathing badly makes it hard to sleep soundly because having a problem with your breathing often starts with a blocked nose, which can make it hard to get comfortable. A lot of people like to go to sleep on a particular side, and if your nose blocks frequently, it can make it hard to get to sleep on that side.
You can get your nose clear by doing the special Buteyko exercise and then concentrate on breathing through it in the day time so that it stays clear. If you breathe through your nose all day, you are far more likely to breathe through it all night.