Mindfulness to help you sleep

November 3, 2019

 

We are now an ‘always on’ culture and find it hard to switch off.  Do you lie awake at night, struggling to switch off and get to sleep as your mind is racing with thoughts and worries from the day?  Mindfulness can help you to quieten the mind, restore some peace and improve the quality & quantity of sleep you have.   Using the practice of mindfulness can help to reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia.

 

Mindful breathing

 

By focusing on your breathing and being fully present in the moment, it helps you to quieten the mind and declutter the stresses of the day, which will help you to get to sleep more easily.  This breathing technique activates the parasympathetic system to calm the nervous system when feeling stressed or anxious.

 

  1. Lie on your bed on your back with your arms by your side and make yourself comfortable.

  2. Inhale through the nose expanding your chest and belly for 5 counts.  

  3. Pause for 1 count and then slowly breathe out through the nose for 5 counts, feeling your chest and belly deflate.  If you can’t manage 5 counts do less. 

  4. Notice the sensations as you breathe through your nostrils, and notice your heart rate slowing down, feeling calmer.

  5. Acknowledge any thoughts that arise and let them go. Be compassionate towards yourself.  Take your focus back to your breathing.

  6. Think of inhaling in positivity as you breathe in and let go of anything negative on the exhale.

  7. Repeat 10 times.

 

Body scan

 

The body scan technique helps you to become fully aware of what is happening in the mind and body, noticing any tension and helping you to stay in a positive mental state.

 

  1. Lie on your bed on your back with your arms by your side and make yourself comfortable.

  2. Focus on your breathing to quieten the mind and relax.

  3. Then starting with the feet, you are going to bring your attention to each part of the body, working your way up to your head.

  4. During the body scan, tune into what is happening in your body physically, noticing any tension and letting this go as you breathe out.

  5. Then turn your attention to your emotions and feelings to see how you are doing, but in a non-judgemental way.

  6. If anything distracts you, just acknowledge it and return your focus back to the breath.

Using these techniques will help your body to relax, calm the mind and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.

 

We spend up to a third of our lives asleep, to it is important that you create the right environment to ensure a good night’s sleep.  Having a comfortable mattress, good quality pillows and bedding, ensuring your bedroom is at the right temperature, free of noise and light, will have a positive impact on your sleep.

 

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