Stress is an inevitable element of our daily life. It creeps in as a result of routine: waking early for work, beating traffic, sitting down at your cubicle for hours, rounding up work, beating traffic yet again, and finally turning in late at night—only to do it all again the next day. It’s easy to see how stress impedes sleep. It’s hard to do something about it.
Implementing a meditation routine into your life could reduce the harmful effects of stress on the mind and body. A lot of studies have conducted research on the effects of mindfulness meditation. Most notably is the JAMA Internal Medicine who compared mindfulness meditation with sleep hygiene education by testing either on two test groups. After 6 weeks of trial, the group who meditated testified to lessened depression and improved sleep.
Mindfulness meditation exerts a relaxing response on the mind and body. By releasing these ‘good-vibes’ into the body, meditation reduces depression, pain and high blood pressure. These things mentioned are tied to stress. Once stress is reduced so, the meditator then experiences a mental boost and a general sense of well-being. Sleep comes easy afterwards.
Insomnia or sleep apnea is often caused by improper breathing. People find it hard to breathe properly throughout the day (mouth-breathing) and this translates into bad night’s rest. The inability to breathe through the nose is a problem suffered by many people in the world. It’s a sort of endemic that is easily overlooked yet important. Meditation has been proven to improve breathing, and hence bring a sense of calm and relaxation on the mind and body.
Mindfulness meditation allows the meditator to breathe deeply and calmly. This relaxes the body and the mind. If meditation can be done an hour or two before bedtime, you can sleep as calmly and peaceful as a baby. The next day, you will wake refreshed. Try it out.
Other times where improper breathing isn’t the cause of insomnia, body pain may be the problem. Tossing around the bed, unable to find the right sleeping posture may be as a result of occasional or chronic pain in some parts of your body. Pain in your body can greatly impede your sleep and leaves you feeling sore in the morning. Meditation can help with chronic pain. Studies back mindfulness meditation techniques as one of the easiest ways of identifying pain-afflicted areas of the body.
By implementing mindfulness meditation, a person can identify and unlock tension areas in the body. It’s mental but works quite well on the physical. By breathing slowly and calmly during meditation, you can ease some pain in your body. This relaxes your mind and body and helps you fall straight asleep after the mental exercise.
Increases Hormone Production
Heard of melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain’s pineal gland. This hormone is responsible for controlling our sleep and wake cycles. Pretty powerful, isn’t it? But does your body produce enough of melatonin? If you’re reading this article, it probably isn’t.
How can you spike your melatonin levels? With meditation, of course! Studies show that by practicing meditation, you can boost melatonin levels and hence enjoy good sleep as a result. Meditation does more than increase melatonin levels, it also boosts serotonin levels—serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and depression and memory. So, to conclude, we can say confidently that meditation regulates mood, memory, appetite, digestion, ad sexual desire, all which contributes to good sleep.
By meditating at least once every day, you can enhance your mental and physical health—you will also experience happiness.
Exercises The Mind
There is a lot of emphasis on maintaining a fit physique. Don’t get us wrong, keeping in shape is great, but it should never be done at the expense of the mind. Keeping the mind healthy is also just as important. Why; because a stressed mind easily transfers to your body. Think about it; when you’re tired from work, your eyes swell and you get eye bags. Not just that, you may have a pimple breakout; or even worse, walk feebly.
By practicing meditation, you can benefit from a mental workout. This can greatly purge impurities from your mind, leaving it less-burdened. This will only lead to better sleep. No more will you wake up frequently at night or toil around your bed in discomfort. You will be able to fall asleep faster and sleep for longer periods of time. Most importantly, you will wake up feeling fresh and renewed.
Meditation Tips For Improved Sleep
Meditation can help you sleep better. Although there is no such thing as ‘doing it wrong’ when it comes to meditation, we think it better to outline our methods which we know improve sleep in the most effective way. Follow these steps and watch yourself fall asleep like a baby.
Lie comfortably in bed: Take deep breaths through the nose. As you breathe, pay attention to your heaving chest. Your breathing should be natural.
Focus on positive thoughts: Your mind will drift. It’s up to you to control it. Focus on positive thoughts and feelings of the day.
Pay attention to the physical tensions in your body: Is your weight distributed evenly? Try to ease the tension in your body by breathing deeply.
Keep Your Breathing Steady: Eventually you’ll reach an elevated state. At this point, you’re very well relaxed. You’ve just bought yourself a good sleep ticket. Enjoy!
Find Out More
If you are struggling to sleep, I hope the above tips have helped you. As a coach and therapist, one of the issues I help my clients with is how to improve sleep. There could be a lot of reasons why you are not getting a good night’s sleep, so talking about it can help unlock the answer to find a solution.
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