Repercussions of Sleep Disturbances and How Mindfulness Can Help
We’ve all been there...laying awake in bed, worrying about life’s many problems when we should be getting some much-needed sleep. Worry doesn’t discriminate either, so it can affect you whether you’re a kid worrying about your ever expanding world or a parent simply trying to make ends meet.
You don’t have to suffer with full-blown insomnia to feel the ill-effects of a bad night either, as sleep disturbances can have just as big of an impact on your daytime mood and energy levels - often happening for no apparent reason. All very frustrating, you’d probably agree, however, if you’re someone who suffers from broken sleep or have a child who does, you shouldn’t despair, as there is a helpful solution.
The Negative Effects of Broken Sleep
When it comes to your health, sleep is right up there with water, as when you don’t get enough it, your wellbeing can really suffer. Just one night of broken sleep and you can find your energy levels dropping significantly, with your mood and productivity taking a knock. And these issues are compounded each night that they occur, with people often ending up feeling drained and depressed after just a day or two.
Chronic insomnia can actually have long-term repercussions as studies have shown that sleep deprivation can affect a person’s mental and physical health, cognitive function, and has even been linked to obesity and cardiovascular problems. It’s true to say that what starts off as a minor problem can turn into a major one pretty quickly.
The fact is that insomnia can affect anyone at any age, but childhood sleep disturbance is increasing at alarming rates due to increased daily screen use and overloaded, stress-inducing schedules. This has shown to decrease attention spans, mental health, and immunity. But the good news is that it’s never too late to make changes that can have lifelong benefits.
A solution to all the unpleasant side-effects that come along with issues of getting a good night’s rest can be mindfulness meditation, which has been clinically proven to improve the quality and quantity of sleep. By focusing on your breathing and thoughts to the present moment, you train your mind to not dwell on either the past or the future. Breaking these trains of thought can be achieved by meditating for just 10-20 minutes per day, which is something that will also help you lead a more relaxed and balanced life.
The great thing about mindfulness meditation is that it can be carried out pretty much anywhere at any time of the day. Whether you’re a kid on the way to soccer practice or a businesswoman on your daily commute, the relaxation response can be triggered easily, with all kinds of positive psychological and physiological benefits enjoyed by the person meditating. So long as you’re in a position to carry out slow, controlled breaths in a relatively quiet environment, mindfulness meditation is possible.
Free Your Mind From the Prison of Insomnia
Anyone suffering with mild sleep disturbance or full-blown insomnia will tell you just how much it affects their life. Not getting the sleep you need can profoundly affect your relationships and your performance at work or at school. The fact that the answer lies in something that’s accessible to everyone should provide anyone going through this nightmare with a source of hope.
Mindfulness meditation can literally change how you think and alter mind body connection, allowing you to switch your focus from the present to past and future at will and without judgment. This control can be easily achieved with a daily practice, meaning you could be sleeping through the night and waking up refreshed and reinvigorated every day. Sounds good, doesn’t it? So, why not give it a try? It could be the best decision you make all year!
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Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances