Many things have changed our ability to sleep. From technology (and that dreaded blue light) never leaving our side, to a world full of news that brings about plenty of stress, there are a variety of reasons why people might have trouble falling asleep each night. And while some may not think missing out on a few extra hours of sleep is a big deal, sleep is actually one of the most important aspects of our health. To help combat this growing issue, the team at Tommy John have created some mindfulness sleep exercises that people of all ages can follow to get to sleep faster and stay asleep for longer. By bringing mindfulness into the bedroom, people can lower their stress hormones, decrease their blood pressure and induce overall feelings of calmness that have been proven to promote a restful sleep.
Benefits of a good night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is so important in a variety of ways, from improving mental health to boosting the body’s ability to fight off infection. Sleep can also help with problem solving, cognitive function and overall brain health which is crucial for those in high-stress jobs. Below are some of the benefits that people can get from a good night’s sleep:
- Improved focus
- Better memory retention
- Increased ability to solve problems
- Less looping or obsessive thoughts
- Metabolism function increases
- Mood stability
- Higher degrees of emotional intelligence
With all these great benefits just a few hours of extra sleep away, people may be asking themselves how they can get to sleep faster and wake up more rested. That’s where the practice of mindfulness comes in. According to Mindful.org, ‘Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.‘ However, this practice is easier said than done.
The power of mindfulness for sleep
There are a variety of ways adults can bring more mindfulness into their bedtime routines. Establishing a set routine, if they don’t already have one, is the first step. Following the same ritual before bed each night can help send a signal to the body that it is time to prepare for sleep, which improves the chance of falling asleep faster. Then, sleep mindfulness activities are suggested as they can help lower stress levels, improve mood and ready the body and mind for rest.
By connecting the breath and the body, the mind is able to focus on the activity at hand rather than other stressors or plans for the next day. One way to connect the body and breath is through box breathing. This activity slows the heart rate and calms anxiety. By tracing the box with their finger and matching the breath to the movements, a full-body mindfulness experience can be achieved that has been proven to increase relaxation.
Five Senses Reflection
Another mindfulness activity that is perfect for bedtime is the 5 Senses Reflection. This activity forces people to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, leading to a greater feeling of gratitude before winding down for the night. By incorporating the 5 senses (taste, smell, sight, sound and touch), people are able to fully focus on the task at hand which can be calming for those who tend to have obsessive thinking patterns.
Mindfulness sleep exercises have been proven to be a game changer for those suffering from anxiety and insomnia. The best part is there are no harmful side effects! So give these exercises a go tonight, you have nothing to lose! We have included the printable versions of the Tommy John mindfulness strategies below for your convenience.
Please note: This article is not to be used as medical advice. This post may contain affiliate links.