Here are five reasons that you should add mindfulness meditation to your bedtime routine.
1. Helps to stretch and relax muscles
Meditation is often combined with exercises like yoga or tai chi, which means that while you’re focusing on relaxing your mind, you’re also working to relax all of the muscles that have tightened throughout the day.
This movement can also help you wake up with fewer aches and pains. If aches and pains are normal for you, you should look at when you last replaced your mattress. If you can’t remember, or you know it’s been more than ten years, the age of the bed could be one cause of those aches and pains.
2. Elicits relaxation response in mind
The relaxation response is a physiological reaction that’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight stress reaction. This response, according to Dr. Herbert Benson, can help ease the results of many stress-related issues like depression, pain, and high blood pressure.
Many people’s sleep disorders are closely tied to stress, so when you work to create the relaxation response regularly, it can help you sleep better. It also helps by making this response more reflexive when you can’t sleep at night.
A study of long-term yoga practitioners and meditators in the 2009 Biological Psychology Journal found that yoga helped to reduce how much cortisol was released. Since cortisol is a stress hormone, less of it in your body may mean that you sleep better.
Another study looked at the sleep architecture of practitioners and non-practitioners. That study, published in the 2006 Sleep and Biological Rhythms journal, found that practitioners had better maintained slow wave sleep through middle age, something that’s more common in younger people.
4. Helps relieve the physical effects of stress and anxiety
Doctors estimate that 80 to 90 percent of their patient visits are stress-related. By taking the time to meditate and do some yoga, you can limit the number of times you’ll visit the doctor.
In a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, nurses practiced yoga at least twice weekly reported less work stress and better sleep than a similar group of nurses who didn’t do yoga.
When you aren’t stressed as much, you’ll sleep better. When you sleep better, you won’t be as stressed. It’s a cycle that needs to be discontinued.
5. Helps you to deal with stressors more reasonably
When you don’t sleep well, you aren’t going to be able to deal with everything that life will throw at you. Sleep loss makes it harder for you to deal with something that disrupts your day. Anything from an unexpected phone call to a car accident can make your entire brain go into the fight-or-flight response.
By building the relaxation response into your reflexes, you can deal with anxiety in a more reasonable manner.
Guest Article by: SleepHelp.org