We all know that we need between seven and nine hours of quality sleep, but not all of us get it. Of course, these numbers vary depending on your age and personal characteristics, but it’s still important to get enough quality sleep every night.
Sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health, everyday performance at work and general wellbeing. Yet, due to busy schedules and daily anxieties, people often experience different sleeping problems, such as insomnia, parasomnias or certain disruptions in sleep, that may cause sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue, inability to focus, irritability, anxiety and depression.
Considering the fact that quality sleep represents a crucial factor for your wellbeing, you should consider embracing mindfulness, especially if you’ve been experiencing sleeping problems lately. Not only will mindfulness help you become more aware of your everyday experiences, but it will also improve your sleep significantly.
Understanding the cause
The reasons behind poor or disrupted sleep are numerous, so you need to uncover the root cause before implementing certain changes. If you’re suffering from insomnia, identifying the exact reason behind it will help you take appropriate measures.
Insomnia may be caused by physical health conditions, such as asthma, physical pain, urinary infections, etc. In these cases, you need to seek help from your doctor who can prescribe an appropriate treatment that will alleviate the symptoms and improve your sleep.
Insomnia may also be caused by your lifestyle habits, such as excessive alcohol consumption that makes you wake up in the night, substance abuse, too much caffeine, heavy meals before bedtime, working late, etc. Should any of these factors affect your sleep quality, you need to adopt healthier lifestyle habits that won’t disrupt your sleep.
Finally, insomnia, as well as other sleep disorders, may be a result of ongoing mental health issues, such as severe stress exposure, anxiety and depression. While certain medications, such as antidepressants, may help you with these issues, they are just a temporary solution that will alleviate the symptoms instead of treating the cause. On the other hand, mindfulness and certain types of therapy, such as hypnotherapy, can help you deal with the problem instead of the symptoms.
The mindful approach to sleep
Mindfulness represents a type of inner awakening that can help you be present in the moment and aware of your experiences. This Eastern practice has the aim of enabling you to immerse yourself in the present rather than being overwhelmed by your negative thoughts and feelings. It can also help you accept your emotions without judgement and deal with things as they come. As such, mindfulness can greatly improve your sleep.
In fact, studies have shown that participants who’ve gone through a mindfulness awareness program, during which they learnt to focus on the present moment, have actually experienced sleep improvements.
By teaching you to focus on the present moment, mindfulness can ease your negative feelings, anxiety and stress. Consequently, this can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. This practice can also help you reduce your ruminating thoughts that usually keep you up at night. Furthermore, through different types of mindful meditation, such as body scan, you can learn to relieve tension in your body, relax your muscles and even ease physical pain. All of this may lead to better mood, peace of mind and, consequently, improved sleep.
There are different ways to introduce mindfulness to your life, including deep breathing techniques, body scans, meditation, expressing gratitude, etc. However, the key principle to all of them is focusing on the here and now instead of burdening your mind with the past or future. Thus, you’ll need to find an anchor to the present, such as a sound, word or hymn, that will take you back when your thoughts start wandering away.
Hypnotherapy for improved sleep
Hypnotherapy is becoming more and more popular, especially in Australia where it has become an accredited practice. In fact, in Sydney hypnotherapy sessions are a common treatment method for different types of insomnia and anxiety. Since hypnosis is a state of mind that you experience right before falling asleep, hypnotherapy aims at reprogramming your subconscious mind and changing sleep disturbances that have become a part of your subconscious. In addition, hypnotherapy is also helpful if you don’t know the reason behind your insomnia. Though hypnotherapy sessions, a hypnotherapist can get through your subconscious mind and identify the reason behind your sleep disturbances by applying different techniques.
The connection between mindfulness and hypnotherapy
Although mindfulness and hypnotherapy seem as if they were worlds apart, both approaches are actually based on similar principles: reconnecting with yourself through the process of deep relaxation and revealing your true self. Furthermore, both practices involve similar self-regulation techniques, such as deep breathing and focusing on the present moment. Finally, both mindfulness and hypnotherapy allow you to access your consciousness at a deeper level where your mind is more open to change.
Taking responsibility for your sleep
Apart from practicing mindfulness and undergoing hypnotherapy, there are other ways that can help you improve your sleep. You need to practice mindfulness regularly because it will take some time before you see improvements. You should also practice mindful eating by eating slowly and appreciating the flavours, texture and aroma of your food. Furthermore, try to adopt a healthier lifestyle in general and start exercising regularly, limit your nicotine, caffeine and alcohol intake and go to bed earlier. Finally, don’t give in to stress and overwhelming thoughts but try to relax and focus on the present.
Introducing mindfulness to your life and trying hypnotherapy can not only improve your sleep, but also contribute to your general wellbeing.