Interview with Mr. Kuwashima – A Japanese 2breathe user
In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in sleep disorders in Japan. Whether it is due to aging or stress, 1 in 5 people have some type of sleep disorder. I am one of those people. This problem really began in my thirties.
When I was a student I thought I could sleep forever, but now I find myself constantly restless. I climb into bed and find myself tossing and turning. If I do fall asleep sometimes I find myself waking up after a little while of being asleep. Many times I find I cannot fall back to sleep. Since I do not sleep very well, I sometimes miss the morning alarm clock.
As a result of my sleep concerns, I spoke with Mr. Kuwashima, one of my favorite people, who told me about 2breathe, a great device that creates a state of relaxation.
Question: Mr. Kuwashima, what are your concerns about not getting a good night’s sleep?
“My sleep is terrible. I tell myself that it is time to go to sleep, but sleep does not come naturally. Sometimes I lay in bed and do not get sleepy. I try laying on my
side, on my stomach, and all I do is keep tossing and turning in bed. It is terrible sleeping for only 2-3 hours a night. Sometimes I wake up angry. This has me very concerned.”
Question: When did you first start having trouble falling asleep?
“I think my sleeping issues began when I entered the workforce. As I said as a student life was very different, I did not have many concerns. I felt like I could sleep for hours. Working people though have various responsibilities and become very stressed out. With management there is great responsibility. With greater responsibility comes increased stress. There are stressors that we are not even aware of that increase our mental stress.”
Question: What impact does lack of sleep have on you?
“I think that it has a very great impact on me. I feel that I cannot sleep and the little sleep that I do get makes life very difficult for me. When I go to bed I get very anxious. When this happens it makes falling asleep almost impossible. This is a vicious cycle. Sometimes I sleep and sometimes I don’t, very vicious indeed. During the daytime I’m very sleepy most of the day. This made my life very difficult. I would sleep maybe 4 hours but my quality of sleep was never very good. Overtime it became considerably worse. If you cannot sleep for a few days you start obsessing about sleep. I really doubt I am sleeping properly.”
Question: Have you tried anything to help you sleep?
“I started using 2breathe. To be honest with you, the first 2 weeks it did not seem like it was working for me. However there were days I slept. On such days I felt less drowsy during the day. Even though I felt like giving up, telling myself, “I cannot fall asleep” or “I did not sleep well” there were times I did fall asleep. Until I became familiar with 2breathe, it was difficult for me to sync my breathing with the musical tones. Sometimes I thought it was too fast or the breathing too long. It seems that with continued use my breathing synced better with the tones. I was able to adapt my breathing to the musical tones. Since I started using 2breathe I feel my quality of sleep is improving. I do not feel so fuzzy during the daytime anymore. Even though I would think to myself, “I will not be able to fall asleep today” I fell asleep in about 30 minutes. I usually was asleep by the end of 2breathe session.”
Question: Has 2breathe helped you sleep better and made an impact on your life?
“The blurry feelings have definitely decreased during the daytime. I would usually take a nap during break time sometimes 10-20 minutes to clear up my head. Before I started to use 2breathe I was too sleepy to work. Sometimes it felt like I was losing my mind so I had a great difficulty concentrating, but now things are changing and improving. Every morning now I feel 60%-70% refreshed. I am using it everyday so I think I am unconsciously feeling the effects of 2breathe.”
Question: Are you still using 2breathe?
“Yes of course! I do not think I will be able to fall asleep without it, but I am expecting to continually improve as I use this mysterious little device. After I started to use 2breathe my sleep has been increasing steadily and gently. I thought at first that wearing the sensor belt would be a concern. But the sensor belt is soft and the sensor small so there is no discomfort. As soon as I start a session the gentle and relaxing music begin to flow. I thought I might wake up because of the music when I went to bed, but adjusting for low volume works just fine for me. When I started I was very conscious for the first 10 minutes breathing with the high tones and then the low tones. During the 30 minute session though I fell asleep without much notice and stayed asleep until morning. It is so surprising that I could fall asleep so naturally, knowing that I used to toss and turn for 3 or more hours. In the past, when the alarm clock would ring I would continue sleeping. Now I am able to jump out of bed when the alarm clock rings!
Until I started using 2breathe, getting out of bed was very difficult. My time to fall asleep now is considerably shorter.
Even if I do not fall asleep right away with a session I lay there quietly and fall asleep. Moreover, now that I wake up more refreshed I do not feel rushed in the morning. I feel like I am living more deliberately, I like this very much. I no longer feel like I have to rush to catch the train. Sometimes my concentration decreases at work as the day progresses, but I remembered that 2breathe has a meditation mode. I use this mode on my break and feel very refreshed afterwards. Now it is pleasant to work and I can work according to my schedule. When I could not sleep my concentration and efficiency were really down. Life has changed so much for me since I started using 2breathe and am finally sleeping. 2breathe is amazing!”
2breathe helps guide your respirations by using the sensor and the application which generate tones to fall asleep. Like Mr. Kuwashima I really did not trust this device. Now I actually realize that it does work. By using the breath to access the autonomic nervous system which is essential for falling asleep, 2breathe can be used with confidence. The generated tones actually lead to sleep and you do not need to worry about any side effects.