Mindfulness Activity #128
Mindfulness for Better Sleep
Hello. I have been informing you all about specific benefits associated with particular types of mindfulness practice. Mindfulness practices like many we have been doing have been shown to improve the quality of sleep. Have any of you noticed any changes in sleep? Like physical exercise earlier in the day, practicing mindfulness in the morning can positively impact sleep at night. The ability to control your mind which we practice in the day helps us not to get stuck in worry thoughts in the evening.
Even with this practice, settling yourself in the evenings—transitioning from the stress and activity of the day–to the evening can be a challenge. Many people use that time when they jump in bed to plan (or worry) about the next day’s activities. It is true that your tomorrow will absolutely be a bit better with some planning rather than just winging it. However, when and where you choose to plan your next day or problem solve challenges can make a big difference. Do NOT do that sort of planning in your bed. If you catch yourself doing that, and feel like it’s important, get up and leave your bed. If you like, you can make planning the last thing you do before you begin a nighttime routine. Sit upright in a chair and use a pen or pencil to jot things down if you like. When you leave the chair and put away the writing materials, it is a signal to your brain that you are finished with that activity.
For today’s practice, try this guided mindfulness to use right before you go to sleep…If you like, try it now for practice (and a little relaxation) and then again before sleep.
Better sleep takes time and commitment to happen. There are many great resources on tips for better sleep. I have included a very brief handout with bullet points of practices research has shown to have benefits on sleep. It is extremely helpful to develop a set of evening rituals or a specific routine for yourself. Doing so will prime you for relaxation and better sleep over time. Try to pick something that you can realistically maintain.
Wishing you a restful night!