Today’s blog post is based on this month’s theme mindfulness for health, more specifically mindfulness for sleeping.
A lack of sleep can cause a deterioration in health. We all know that when we have less sleep our body isn’t on top form and is therefore more susceptible to ill health. Not only that our concentration span decreases and we are more likely to make mistakes.
We will be looking at 5 ways practicing mindfulness can aid you in getting a better night’s sleep and thus providing you with better all-round health.
1) Turn off all Electronic Devices
As most of you may know turning off or putting away all electronic devices 30 minutes before going to bed will help your body prepare for sleeping as the light on phone screens makes your brain think it’s still daytime, hence making you feel awake.
By becoming aware that constantly checking your phone or having the TV on isn’t doing much in the way of preparing you for sleep, you can begin to fully relax the mind and focus on the present.
2) Evening Routine
It can be very easy to rush going to bed because you want to be asleep by 11pm so you can get your full 8 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, this can just leave your mind racing even faster than before.
By having a routine, you take that time for yourself. For example, if you have a shower or take time to fully cleanse your face each evening. Instead of rushing these tasks, slow down, focus on each action you are doing and do it with care.
If you are having a shower, take the time to slowly massage the soap into your skin, really become aware of what you are doing to your body, focusing on being in the present without letting your mind wander.
3) Meditate Before Sleeping
Meditating before sleeping will help your mind to settle. Even if you set a timer for only 5 minutes, sit somewhere comfortable and quiet and focus on your breathing. Become aware of each body part from your fingertips to your toes. Become aware of the feelings and sensations that arise in your body as you breathe in, and out.
If your mind wanders, bring yourself back to your breathing.
4) Read a Book
For some reading a booking might be an obvious choice to unwind before bed, although increasingly people find their mind wandering to tomorrow’s to-do list instead of reading the book itself. Take your time to find a good book that you will enjoy reading and concentrate on just reading the book and nothing else.
Stretching isn’t only a physical way of unwinding but also mentally. Doing some simple yoga stretches whilst also focusing on your breath can be a great way to let go of everything and focus on being in the present moment, whilst becoming aware of your body and your actions.
With each out breath try stretching deeper into the stretch each time.
You can search online or YouTube for yoga routines. Here is a ten minute yoga video for you to try.
One last note – if you find your mind wandering to tomorrows plans, become aware of it. Stop. Re-focus on your breathing, and what you are doing in the present moment.
You don’t have to incorporate all of these into your night time routine, you can start with one and see what works best for you.
We’d love to hear how you get on so please leave us a comment!