If you’re like most people, you get your best thinking done at the end of the day when you finally have the time to regroup and arrange your thoughts. The only problem with this type of thinking schedule is that this is the time when you should be preparing for that ever important thing we call sleep. Unfortunately, the majority of people today have their schedules so jam packed that the time they devote to unwinding from their busy day ends up being the moment that they put their head on the pillow. As you can imagine, a busy mind isn’t all that conducive to good night’s sleep.
Tracey Marks, in a recent Huffington Post, takes a look at this growing trend and how 3 natural methods, including meditation, limiting one’s technology use, and carving out dedicated unwinding time, can help a person to relax enough to enter slumber with ease. According to Marks, stress is one of the biggest contributors to a busy mind. That said, by becoming mindful of ways in which you can decompress prior to getting into bed, you can help ensure a quiet mind and a healthy night’s sleep.
Here’s what she says about meditation:
2. Take a break in the middle of the day to reboot
Spend 15 minutes each day to meditate. Meditation lessens anxiety, decreases blood pressure and slows your mind. Not only does meditation improve your mood but studies show that mindfulness meditation works as well as antidepressants in preventing depression.
Mindfulness involves disconnecting from your activity-laden environment (which is often comprised of facing a mountain of emails and texts and earnestly making attempts to comply with work-related deadlines) and focusing only on the task with which you’re currently faced.
This can be undertaken at your desk and doesn’t have to be complicated. It can take the form of listening to peaceful music, breathing exercises (e.g., taking five belly breaths in and out while you listen to your breaths) or practicing progressive muscle relaxation. (If you listen to music, you should try to focus on the rhythm and not run through your grocery list.)
Read more from Marks here on using healthy ways like meditation to help you sleep.