Getting a full night’s rest is extremely important to improving productivity, reducing stress, and is good for your overall mental and physical health. However, for some, sleeping throughout the night without waking isn’t a common occurrence. With the rise of technology and other external factors, feeling distracted and scatterbrained is becoming much more common. In fact for many, it may feel impossible to feel relaxed when it comes time to sleep. But with a technique called mindfulness, your sleep schedule could drastically improve.
The team at Tommy John has provided insight on how to practice mindfulness; a way to feel present and at ease in the current moment you’re in. The health benefits that come along with the state of mindfulness including a steady heart rate and lower blood pressure, make it a great way to improve your sleep patterns and stress levels.
Three Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Considering the health benefits that are linked to mindfulness and an improved sleep cycle, practicing mindfulness is extremely beneficial. There are several ways to incorporate a piece of mindfulness before bed, and some are listed below.
1. Box Breathing
Box breathing is an exercise that is known to reset your brain if you are feeling uneasy or stressed out. First, make sure you are in a calm and quiet area free of electronics. Next, you can use your finger to outline the template Tommy John designed for boxed-breathing. An alternative to this is to place one hand on your lower stomach and one on your chest in order to physically feel the air coming in and out of your body.
To begin, breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and repeat. After doing this for a few minutes, you will be in your desired state of mindfulness; ready for bed. Make sure you are wearing non-restricting clothing and practicing this free from external distractions to easily drift off after your breath practice.
2. Night-Time Reflection
After a long day, reflecting and documenting your feelings is a great way to feel present and ready for the next day. This specific reflection includes writing down the five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. By taking the time to consider all the positivity around you, you can become more self-aware and grateful for what you have.
Staying focused is key to practicing a night-time reflection. Set a timer for 10 minutes, then try and think of a specific memory that makes you feel good. Picture it in your mind, and record all the details that came along with the memory. Following this practice allows you to clear your head from negativity and stress, leading to a deeper and more restful night’s sleep.
3. Make a Gratitude Map
Understanding how you feel in the present can lead to greater self-awareness and allow you to appreciate what you have at the moment. When creating your gratitude map, categories that you can include are people, places, skills, and things that you are grateful for. Keeping track of your positive emotions can help put you in a better state before falling asleep, helping you wake up more rested and thankful. The benefits of gratitude mapping include decreased stress levels, a deeper connection to those around you and a calmer internal monologue.
Make sure to test out different routines and practices in order to find the right one for you. A healthy and positive lifestyle can be refreshing in a world where technology is constantly in our hands and the internet is constantly on. Try and turn off for a moment before bed, and reap the benefits of a great night’s sleep. Getting a healthy seven hours of sleep a night may provide several long-term benefits, but also leads to feeling more positive in the present.