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Hit the ‘off’ switch with the help of mindfulness

Article by
Written on 2019-10-31T06:22:00+00:00

We switch off the lights, crawl under our blankets, but all we think about is the many ways tomorrow can go wrong or the long list of unread emails just waiting for us. We spend the next day half-awake and fully tired. This sounds like most of us. Insomnia is no longer a niche issue affecting millions around the world. Its long-term effects are known to cause serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. 

Research has shown that poor sleep is closely tied to high levels of stress and anxiety. Our continuously connected lifestyles and high-pressure jobs challenge our ability to relax. This often leads to intermittent sleep cycles and disruptions in our circadian rhythms. The body finds it harder to maintain sleep–wake homeostasis. Adequate and quality sleep is essential for muscle repair, hormone regulation and most importantly for neurological functions including memory formation and consolidation, the creation of pathways for learning, and concentration. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and biological system in the body. 

Published research has proven that the practice of mindful meditation that applies breathing and focusing techniques improves the quality of sleep. Mindfulness creates a deep physiological shift in our bodies – the opposite of a stress response. This helps alleviate anxiety and stress leading to steady and deep sleep patterns. Mindfulness does this by centring our focus on our breathing, keeping us grounded in the present and reigning in the mind’s tendency to wander. This eliminates concerns of the past and the future, which are a major cause of general anxiety. 

Twenty-one minutes of mindfulness every day habituate the body to a heightened state of relaxation. A state that becomes almost a reflex action to be invoked at will. A state that prepares our minds and bodies for stasis. This time, when the lights are switched off our minds are too. The body enters its natural sleep stages effortlessly and the biological clock is restored. In our complicated times, mindfulness has become an essential component of good sleep hygiene.    

Sources:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

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blog

Hit the ‘off’ switch with the help of mindfulness

Article by
Written on 2019-10-31T06:22:00+00:00

We switch off the lights, crawl under our blankets, but all we think about is the many ways tomorrow can go wrong or the long list of unread emails just waiting for us. We spend the next day half-awake and fully tired. This sounds like most of us. Insomnia is no longer a niche issue affecting millions around the world. Its long-term effects are known to cause serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. 

Research has shown that poor sleep is closely tied to high levels of stress and anxiety. Our continuously connected lifestyles and high-pressure jobs challenge our ability to relax. This often leads to intermittent sleep cycles and disruptions in our circadian rhythms. The body finds it harder to maintain sleep–wake homeostasis. Adequate and quality sleep is essential for muscle repair, hormone regulation and most importantly for neurological functions including memory formation and consolidation, the creation of pathways for learning, and concentration. Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and biological system in the body. 

Published research has proven that the practice of mindful meditation that applies breathing and focusing techniques improves the quality of sleep. Mindfulness creates a deep physiological shift in our bodies – the opposite of a stress response. This helps alleviate anxiety and stress leading to steady and deep sleep patterns. Mindfulness does this by centring our focus on our breathing, keeping us grounded in the present and reigning in the mind’s tendency to wander. This eliminates concerns of the past and the future, which are a major cause of general anxiety. 

Twenty-one minutes of mindfulness every day habituate the body to a heightened state of relaxation. A state that becomes almost a reflex action to be invoked at will. A state that prepares our minds and bodies for stasis. This time, when the lights are switched off our minds are too. The body enters its natural sleep stages effortlessly and the biological clock is restored. In our complicated times, mindfulness has become an essential component of good sleep hygiene.    

Sources:

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

More Articles

Beating the Covid-19 blues: Using routines to re-establish a sense of control

Covid-19 has become a great disruptor of routine in our lives. Here’s how we can combat these daily stressors.

Work from home: Communicating boundaries with your family

We now sit with one eye on the screen and the other on a child or a parent nearby. Over the past few months, we’ve realised work from home brings with it its own set of unique challenges.

Why are influential personalities embracing meditation?

Influential people around the globe aren’t new to the concept of mindfulness, hear from the experts themselves.

Beating the Covid-19 blues: Using routines to re-establish a sense of control

Covid-19 has become a great disruptor of routine in our lives. Here’s how we can combat these daily stressors.

Work from home: Communicating boundaries with your family

We now sit with one eye on the screen and the other on a child or a parent nearby. Over the past few months, we’ve realised work from home brings with it its own set of unique challenges.

Why are influential personalities embracing meditation?

Influential people around the globe aren’t new to the concept of mindfulness, hear from the experts themselves.