Meditation: Get the Sleep You Need to be Your Best Self
7 June 2018, 7:24PM
Getting a good night’s sleep is probably the most important thing you can do to be your best self all the time. It’s especially important for athletes since it gives you the energy you need to get through your day and complete the exercise you enjoy so much.
When it comes to sleep, approximately one-third of Australian adults do not get the amount of sleep they need, according to the Australasian Sleep Health Foundation. A slightly higher percentage, 35 percent, reported not feeling refreshed when they wake up and waking up frequently at night.
Dr. Maree Barnes, President of the Australasian Sleep Association, told The Sydney Morning Herald that people should build at least a 30-minute “buffer zone” into their evenings to keep their daytime stress out of the bedroom and to relax.
Meditation and yoga may be a good part of that buffer zone because they help your mind and body to de-stress while you stretch. Yoga and meditation have been part of spiritual practices in India for more than 5,000 years. They’ve been found to work on a variety of issues, particularly when it comes to sleep.
If you’ve never tried yoga or meditation, when done together, they’ve been found to treat the symptoms of insomnia, reduce work stress, and to help them sleep through the night better. It’s also been found to make you sleep “younger,” by helping your brain to have longer stretches of slow wave sleep, and help to improve the mental health of practitioners by making the relaxed responses more second nature.
The good news is, there’s also a lot of resources out there to help you learn to do both meditation and yoga. You can go to a studio to learn a routine and learn how to do the poses, or you can turn to the internet. There are all sorts of videos, apps and written guides out there. Even The New York Times wrote one! You can even do yoga from your bed if you want to.
To create the most soothing buffer zone, you can try lighting a candle or incense with a soothing scent, and focus on your breath, a power phrase for yourself, or on an image that is powerful for you. It might be helpful to put on some white noise, or some instrumental music, to help you to focus on yourself. The experts recommend doing it for 20 to 30 minutes a day, which is perfect for creating a buffer zone for yourself. You can even make it part of the family’s evening routine.
It’s even helpful during the day because when you begin to become stressed, you can use the tools you’ve built to respond in a way that’s more reasonable and less stressful for you.
If you find you are having significant trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, please talk to your doctor and make sure there isn’t an underlying health problem causing your sleep issues.