Are you an insomniac? Sleep doesn’t always come naturally. Changes in light patterns, a new environment, stress, diet and medication are all known to keep The Sandman away. Research shows that mindful meditation is a successful way to achieve sleep without resorting to drugs. So whether you’re a bona fide insomniac or just struggling to nod off, mindfulness is the key.
If you are having difficulties sleeping, avoid heavy aerobic exercise in the evenings. Opt instead for mindful practices. Yoga or a quiet walk are an excellent way to centre yourself, connect to your body and relax after a long day. Concentrate on your feelings in the moment, don’t let your mind race ahead to tomorrow’s jobs and worries. Accept the present, be grateful for all the things you notice around you and focus on relaxing.
Mindfulness has been shown to reduce the stress and worry that keep many of us awake, but you have to commit to the process. Avoid the television, checking emails and long phone conversations in the hours before you go to bed. Create a calm, quiet environment. Find a comfortable sport where you won’t be disturbed and focus on the moment. What do you see? What do your hear? How are you feeling? Concentrate on the present, accept your feelings and be grateful for them. Don’t worry about not getting to sleep or analysing everything that happened in the day. Just think about now.
There are a number of brilliant mindful techniques and practices that work fantastically well when you are trying to get to sleep; you may even come up with a few of your own! Our favourite is to focus on all the sounds around you. Relax, close your eyes and count each of the sounds you can hear. Your breathing, one. The cars on the road, two. Your partner snoring, three. Relax, trust and be present. You’ll be asleep before you’ve even realised it.
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