Since I did not want to rely on drugs to solve my insomnia, I looked for non-drug sleeping aids. I decided to try meditation since the sleeping pill given the doc was supposed to calm me down. I have tried meditation by focusing on my breathing while I was in the hospital. But guess I was just too impatient, frustrated and worried then that it did not quite work out.
I read in MM Lee Kuan Yew' recent interview with NY Times that he started meditation a few years ago. He did it to calm himself whenever he heard sounds of his bedridden wife's discomfort. And this was what he said “The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts. A certain tranquillity settles over you. The day’s pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there’s less problem sleeping.” So I said to myself, let's try it again.
I read more about meditation. This is one web page I thought is simple to read and understand about meditation and sleep. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/natural-sleep-aids5.htm
Soon I figured out the key is practice and perseverance, especially for people whose minds are constantly in active mode, thinking and also worrying I suppose. I started slowly, trying to stay focus on the Present like my breathing or the movement of abdominal area. Like what I have read, it was difficult. The mind wandered easily. In any case, since I have nothing much to do and cannot sleep, I told myself just keep practising it. If it's work, good for me. If it's fail, I lose nothing since I can't sleep anyway. I repeated the process and kept focusing on the regular movement of my abdominal area again. After many repeated attempts over a few nights, I discovered my breathing began to go slower and my body felt more relaxed. I stopped when I felt my body was tired but relaxed enough. I got into my usual sleeping position but did not get too anxious 'trying" to sleep. My mind again wandered to many things and there were some I did not understand or have encountered. Before I knew it, I finally slipped into my dreamland the night before! While I still did not get to sleep through the night, I managed 1to 2 hours of quality sleep now. It's definitely a good improvement compared to the a few winks I have during the last 3 weeks!