Mindfulness for better sleep
Interested in achieving better-quality sleep? You’re not alone – nearly two in five (39%) Australians report frequently struggling with sleep difficulties, according to the Real Sleep Report 2023.
With all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, getting a good night’s rest can often feel out of reach. In the quest for better sleep, one tool you might not have tried is mindfulness. So let’s explore how mindfulness techniques can help you sleep better and guide you on your journey towards a more meditative, restless night’s sleep.
Exploring mindfulness for restful sleep
Mindfulness dates back for thousands of years, and it’s the practice of being fully present and engaged in the moment. It’s all about focusing your attention on the here and now, without judgement. Many people find that incorporating mindfulness into their everyday lives can lead to more restful sleep.
One of the key principles behind mindfulness is learning to let go of the past and not concerning yourself with future worries. Often, what keeps us awake at night are thoughts about our day or concerns about what the next day might bring. By honing your mindfulness skills, you can learn to silence these intrusive thoughts and instead focus on the present moment.
Enhancing sleep quality through meditation
Perhaps you’re more familiar with meditation – it’s another powerful tool that falls under the umbrella of mindfulness practices. Putting yourself into a meditative state can help you cultivate a calmer and more focused mind, making it easier to slip into a peaceful slumber.
If you’re one of the many Australians who struggles to fall asleep due to stress or anxiety (53%), financial worries (42%) or family concerns (36%), then trying meditation could help you achieve true restfulness.
4 benefits of meditation for better sleep
- Less stress: Stress and anxiety are common culprits that disrupt our sleeping patterns. Meditation helps by calming your mind and body, thus paving the way for more relaxed sleep.
- Healthier sleep pattern: Regular meditation can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It can make it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day and therefore reinforce a healthier sleep pattern.
- Improved quality of sleep: Meditation has been linked to an increase in slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative stage of the sleep cycle. This means you'll wake up feeling more refreshed and energised.
- Decreased insomnia: Meditation can be particularly helpful for those who suffer from insomnia. It can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep while also minimising the number of times you wake up throughout the night.
Mindfulness meditation: How to start
Now that you understand the benefits of mindfulness meditation, how exactly can you incorporate it into your everyday life? Many people who struggle with sleeping issues decide to participate in sleep studies.
Our Real Sleep report also discovered that approximately 26% of Australians have already consulted a medical professional to help improve their sleep, and an additional 28% have considered doing so.
While these can help you better understand what your body needs before and during sleep, there are also plenty of other ways that can help you get a better night of rest.
How to improve your sleep quality
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Start by dedicating some time before bed simply to unwind. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book (not only a screen), or doing some gentle stretching exercises. These rituals can start to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. In fact, 49% of Australians have adopted this technique in order to improve their sleep.
- Set the mood: Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. Dim the lights or switch them off entirely, adjust the room temperature and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. A soothing atmosphere makes a huge difference to your sleep quality.
- Mindful breathing: Find a comfortable seated or lying position, shut your eyes and just focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply for a count of four, hold for four and exhale for four. This rhythmic breathing can calm your nervous system and prepare you for sleep.
- Guided meditation: You can find plenty of guided meditation sessions online or through apps. These sessions will walk you through the process from start to finish and make it easier to drift off to sleep.
- Consistency is key: Focus on your own wellbeing by incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily routine. Consistency is essential to reap the full benefits. Whether you meditate in the morning to start your day with a clear mind, or just before bed to unwind, make it a regular habit.
- Limit screen time: Avoid screens, including smartphones and TVs, at least an hour before bedtime. They emit blue light that can interfere with your body's production of melatonin, which is a hormone essential for sleep.
- Be patient: Mindfulness meditation is a skill that takes time to develop. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. With practice, you'll become great at calming your mind and improving your sleep quality.
If you've been wondering how to sleep better and enjoy a more restful night, consider integrating mindfulness into your daily routine. Just remember to be patient with yourself as you begin this journey – a good night's sleep is a gift you can give yourself each day, and it all starts with mindfulness.
Practising mindfulness often leads to introspection, which makes it the perfect time to reflect on where you are in your life and check that you have the right financial protection such as life insurance for your loved ones if the worst was to happen. Request a quote with Real Insurance today or call us on 1300 377 325.
30 Nov 2023