Week 5: Mindfulness and Sleep
This week’s theme was mindfulness and how it can help us to sleep better for longer. After exploring some of the common obstacles to getting a good night’s sleep, we looked at several mindfulness practices that can help to calm the body and soothe the mind. I have included a few links to similar practices for you to try this week below.
In essence, the practice of mindfulness helps us to activate our ‘rest and digest’ nervous system and encourages us to let go of worries, thoughts and rumination that often take hold when we want to sleep. As Dr Shelby Harris explains, “Mindfulness can quiet the brain and allow for deeper sleep…It can set the stage for sleep by allowing you to be more aware of your thoughts and to be able to let go of those anxieties instead of getting stuck on them.” She explains that “Strengthening your ‘mind muscle’ through daily practice helps you better recognise the negative insomnia-inducing thoughts and let them pass.” So practising when you can during the day can help you to release negative thoughts and allow them to pass at night.
To find out more about mindfulness and its impact on sleep, click the article and audio links below in this week’s Mindfulness Plus.
Article: The Science of Deep Sleep by Caren Osten Gerszberg: https://www.mindful.org/the-science-of-deep-sleep/
Article: How to Get Quality Sleep Using Mindfulness by Sara Altshul: https://www.mindful.org/how-to-get-quality-sleep-using-mindfulness/
Audio: A Body Scan Meditation to Help you Sleep: https://www.mindful.org/a-body-scan-meditation-to-help-you-sleep/
Audio: Conscious Breathing Meditation recorded by Gillian Higgins: https://s3.amazonaws.com/kajabi-storefronts-production/sites/119559/themes/2195214/downloads/ElbTFOiESQGokpD8nEmd_Conscious_Breathing_Meditation.wav
This Week's Poem: Think Like a Tree by Karen Shragg
Soak up the sun
Affirm life’s magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to
hear your own leaves rustling.
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