A person wearing a sleep mask with an open eye clutches their pillowcase tightly and stares at their silent phone lying face-down beside them in bed.

My Experience Trying to Sleep Without Using My Meditation App

Last updated: March 2023

I did a foolish thing last night. While I am no stranger to making significantly less-than-wise choices from time to time, this 1 might top the list. My normal bedtime routine over the last 5 months has consisted of several measures I faithfully implement in hopes my insomnia will take the hint. Not every technique has worked, but 1 has come in quite handy – a sleep meditation app for insomnia.

I tried sleeping without my sleep meditation app, and I won't make that mistake again!

Trying to sleep without my meditation app

What was I thinking?

Last night, I let curiosity get the better of me, and I wondered for a little too long about how far I have come with my insomnia. My sleep has been better lately. The little adjustments I have made seem to be giving me relief from the long sleepless nights plaguing me the last several years. I got a wild hair to just see, if, by chance, I could doze off without listening to my sleep meditation app.

Now, I know what you are going to say… "If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it." On a typical day, I would have to agree with you. I don’t know what got into me; I think I wanted to gauge how much of my routine had become internalized. Could the techniques I learned be implemented without using the app itself? Was I more ready to fall asleep on my own? I wanted to put myself to the test.

Following my sleep ritual without the app

What a mistake!

It’s been my habit to pull up Insight Timer, select 1 of my 3 favorite sleep meditations, pull the covers around my head, and settle in.

I decided to follow my entire ritual except for using the app. I rolled over and tried to bring breathing strategies and mantras to mind. For a few minutes, I was successful in remembering a few.

Then, the intrusive thoughts made their appearance. Drowsiness didn’t come, but doubt filled the void. I tossed, turned, flipped, and flopped. My usual comforts were lost and forgotten. I made a royal mistake.

Learning from my mistake

The rest of my night was very different than the nights when I followed my sleep routine and used my meditation app.

To put the entire process in perspective, I can say I have never heard the end of any of those three 20 to 30-minute selections in the past. Not a single night in the last 5 months. Tonight was to be the exception. I gave in and grabbed my phone in desperation. I was more than foolish to believe I could just pick up where I left off and head off insomnia. It wouldn’t be that simple.

I heard the full 23-minute meditation on the first 1 I chose, all 30 minutes of the next, and 22 out of 22 minutes of the third. I learned 2 things:

  1. The last 10-15 minutes of each is just as compelling and relaxing as the first.
  2. I will never try to go without my meditation app again – at least not right now.

What I had cemented as a really nice, useful routine was completely blown in 1 fell swoop.

Finally falling asleep

I finally fell asleep after refusing to try a fourth round of meditation. I could see where this was headed. The ability to concentrate was completely gone, and I was in for a long night. Some 3-odd hours after making my big mistake, I finally fell asleep.

Rest assured, I will not assume I am ready for a change like that again for a while. Back to the drawing board – it’s already got some great ideas, after all.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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