Improve Your Sleep by Improving Your Mindfulness
It seems that getting enough quality sleep every night has become luxury for some people. Whether you’re on a busy schedule and your day lacks a few hours or you’re overwhelmed by negative thoughts, anxiety, and everyday worries, there’s always something that prevents you from going to bed earlier, falling asleep or getting the recommended eight hours of sleep. You may be even suffering from a certain sleep disorder without even knowing it. However, you can easily improve your quality of sleep and ensure your well-being. By embracing mindfulness and adopting a more peaceful lifestyle, not only will you improve your sleep, but you can also become a happier person.
Determine the reason behind your sleepless nights
The first step towards mindfulness and better sleep is determining why you don’t get enough quality sleep. This will enable you to take a look at your daily habits and life in general and see what changes you can make. If you’re always busy and can’t get everything done, you can become more organized and try creating to-do lists in order to focus on one thing at a time. If you’re overwhelmed by your emotions, mindfulness will teach you how to embrace them for what they truly are. Finally, you may be suffering from a certain sleep disorder, such as different types of insomnia, sleep apnea or a form of parasomnia. While mindfulness may help you with some of these disorders, others may require some additional steps.
Before taking up mindful meditation, you should take some time to research and learn about mindfulness. This will help you understand what mindfulness truly is – it’s actually a state of gentle awareness rather than a way of escaping from your thoughts. You can learn about different mindful practices and find out which one will suit you the best. The very act of reading about mindfulness is one step towards it, so make sure not to skip it.
Practice mindful meditation
Studies have actually shown that practicing mindfulness leads to improved sleep quality and reduced sleep problems. Mindfulness will help you focus on the present moment rather than worrying about what will happen tomorrow. This practice can help you combat insomnia, fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression and even pain and high blood pressure, leading to a healthier and happier life. In the evening, it can help you relax, focus on one particular thing, such as breathing or the way your skin feels against the sheets.
However, it’s recommended that you practice mindfulness during the day. It will put you in a state of relaxation that you’ll be able to evoke in the evening. To evoke relaxation response, you should find a calming focus, for example, your breath, the sound of “Om”, a positive word or a calming prayer. Whatever you choose, it’s important that it helps you relax and keeps you focused. While doing this, you should just let go. Don’t worry if your thoughts start wandering off, but simply try to regain your focus.
Achieving the state of mindfulness takes time, so you need to be patient. Studies have shown that you need to practice mindfulness intensely and regularly before noticing some psychological improvements. However, results have also revealed that sleep may be more sensitive to meditation. This means that you may notice positive effects on your sleep quality before you see improvements in other aspects of your life. Nonetheless, patience is key – just take one step at a time and you’ll be seeing progress soon.
Take some additional measures
It’s important to stress that if you’re suffering from a certain sleep disorder, you may need to seek professional help or take some additional measures. For example, research has shown that insomnia may be linked to stress. In this case, mindfulness can help you relieve stress and embrace a more peaceful lifestyle, which can consequently have a positive effect on your insomnia. However, in the case of sleep apnea, you may need to use special masks because this disorder actually means that you’re experiencing pauses in breathing while sleeping. If you’re not sure whether you’re suffering from this disorder, you can always take a sleep apnea test at home or at a sleep clinic. Afterwards, your doctor can suggest possible solutions and steps you can take to mitigate or eliminate this disorder.
Embrace electronics-free bedroom
Keeping your phone next to your pillow can actually affect your sleep. The same goes for other electronic devices, such as your TV or computer. To avoid this, you should get rid of electronics from your bedroom, keep your phone on airplane mode or turn it off and avoid using electronics before bedtime. This will also enable you to simply relax before going to bed, focus on the present moment and get enough quality sleep during the night.
Not only will mindfulness improve your sleep quality, but it will also make your life healthier, happier and stress-free. However, if you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, make sure to consult with a specialist who can suggest some additional steps you can take.
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