Meditation – The Power of Sleep
When you sleep, your body repairs itself; sleep restores the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, helping to maintain mood, memory and cognitive (thinking) functions. Sleep is vital for our health.
If you get the right amount of sleep at the right time for your body clock, you will be a lot more productive in your work and enjoy your personal life more. Getting quality sleep most nights, reduces anxiety and stress. It really is our superpower.
We all have Circadian rhythms synchronised by solar time; however, everyone’s body clock is slightly different and some of us need more sleep than others – if you’re a bodybuilder, for instance, you’ll need more sleep for recovery – and stressful situations can also necessitate more sleep.
Circadian rhythms affect sleep patterns and, when they get out of sync, they can cause problems with mental and physical health, so getting enough sleep is crucial – but you can also oversleep. Using sleep apps can help because they tell you how much sleep you should be getting each night and give tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep.
A good way to measure sleep is using an app like Garmin as they have done a lot of research and their readings are very accurate. Their system, when you load it up on their app, gives you a score, and it will even measure stress levels because that can affect sleep. There is also another app called ‘Rise Sleep’ which is very research-based, science-based, and manages sleeping habits.
You enter data on how much sleep you want – and when you want to go to sleep – and it will tell you when you should calm down ready for sleep. It will also tell you if you’re in sleep debt. It tells you how important it is to get that sleep back. It can also connect to the Garmin app on your watch. So, the two work in tandem, and using this data, you can monitor your sleeping patterns.
The time just before bed is essential because that’s when you’ll think about everything that happened that day and all your anxieties will appear. If you have a lot on your mind, it will be hard to sleep.
Your brain needs time to analyse things, and that’s why meditation before bed can be helpful. Let your thoughts come to you, analyse them, and then let them go. Your brain is constantly trying to protect you, and anxiety is designed to protect you. However, it doesn’t always function properly. Meditation reduces anxiety.
Create a bedtime routine:
- Make your bedroom a relaxing space.
- Avoid working in your bedroom.
- Comfortable warmth and low lighting help.
- A warm drink – camomile tea or red bush are naturally caffeine-free whereas decaf tea or coffee still has caffeine – just less of it.
- Don’t have any caffeine in the evening because it takes three to five hours to leave your system.
- Turn off electronic devices – the blue light suppresses melatonin, disrupting sleep.
- Watch relaxing programs – nature programs (David Attenborough’s soft voice is mesmerising!)
- Eat several hours before going to bed – so your brain isn’t trying to digest food whilst you want to sleep.
- Go for a walk after dinner.
- Write down anything that is bothering you – this helps your brain process these thoughts – people who write diaries generally have better mental health. It doesn’t really matter what you write, but it can help your sleep quality.
- List to meditation music!
Research is ongoing, but early results show that ASMR helps to get you and your brain into the right state for deep, healthy sleep by promoting relaxation and theta brainwaves. People who enjoy ASMR often report reduced anxiety, fewer headaches and lower blood pressure.
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