Did you know: mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing our awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting all feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations? It’s also something many of us could use to help manage our emotions right now. Let’s face it, we need all the help we can get during these troubling times.
By calming your body and mind, mindfulness techniques can be used to improve your sleep habits and overall sleep hygiene, both of which are paramount in the coming weeks. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation for sleep or mindfulness for sleep, seek to reduce stress and enhance our physical, psychological and social well-being. By being mindful and adding tailored practices into your daily routine, you can establish a wellness loop to get better sleep and promote a more balanced lifestyle. Even if you’re mostly couch-surfing while we ride out COVID-19.
If you’re interested to learn how mindfulness meditations for sleep can affect different components of your life, check out these benefits of mindfulness:
5 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Your Sleep
1. Mindfulness Can Reduce Stress
Whatever your current stress happens to be. From under-scheduled days to over-scheduled days, it seems nearly impossible to avoid the stress of 2020. There’s definitely a relationship between stress and good sleep, and good sleep depends on a good mattress. In fact, people who are stressed tend to get fewer hours of sleep each night and are more likely to experience insomnia.
By consciously being mindful, we have the ability to step back from a stressful situation and observe our thoughts and emotions more clearly. Instead of reacting with frustration or worry, we can accept how the situation makes us feel and respond with clarity, ultimately lowering our stress levels.
2. Mindfulness Can Help Decrease Sleeplessness
Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s inevitable that we will experience sleeplessness at some point in our lives. Particularly for those who struggle with falling asleep at night, bed time comes hand in hand with sleeplessness. And, when we are greeted by sleeplessness frequently, we tend to enter a relentless cycle: we can’t sleep, so we worry about not being able to sleep, which in turn keeps us from sleeping, and so on and so forth…
So, if you struggle with getting the sleep your body needs, consider a new approach to sleep — mindfulness and sleep meditation have been proven to be effective tools for putting an end to this never-ending cycle, and guided sleep meditation for insomnia can be a natural alternative to other sleep-inducing drugs or practices.
Before jumping into your Mattress Firm mattress at night, try practicing mindfulness and meditation for sleep to keep from getting restless and sending yourself into a spiral of overwhelming thoughts. Instead of wreaking havoc on your sleep, seek to control your emotions and keep your thoughts at bay by putting into practice a few relaxation techniques for sleep every night.
3. Mindfulness Can Improve Work Focus and Increase Your Ability to Relax
Beyond letting stress consume us during the day, it’s also a challenge to leave our work-related stress at the office. Here’s where mindfulness comes in, yet again. Researchers have found that practicing daytime mindfulness and performing intermittent mindfulness exercising can help increase our ability to detach ourselves from work at the end of the day, thus allowing us to relax during the evening and ultimately allowing for sleep improvements.
So, if you’re looking to leave the office at the office, consider adding a few mindfulness exercises to your mid-day routine. Because, nothing goes better with lunch than a little mindful meditation!
4. Mindfulness Helps Lower Cortisol Levels
In addition to reducing overall stress, recent studies have identified links between mindfulness practices and changes in cortisol levels, which in turn have helped improve sleep quality. Cortisol is a hormone that stimulates alertness and is important to the regulation of the body’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. So, managing our cortisol levels allows us to maintain our body’s natural cycle and get the proper sleep we need to function at our best every day.
5. Mindfulness Can Be Used to Treat Sleep Disorders
Before treating sleep disorders with medications, which can cause a slew of unpleasant side effects, first try incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine. Several sleep studies have shown that mindfulness-based treatments can lead to significant sleep gains, including reductions in total wake times. In addition to reducing insomnia, mindfulness can improve sleep quality, increase sleep times and cause better sleep efficiency.
Wondering how you can incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine? An easy way is by introducing a nightly mindful bedtime routine. Conclude your routine with quick meditation to align your thoughts, emotions and intentions and you will find that you’re less likely to be surprised by unpredictable thoughts before bed. Whether you choose meditation or just decide to consciously not to let your emotions control your reactions, the positive impact mindfulness will have on your well-being will be well worth the effort.