In fear of sounding like a broken record, meditation really does help you sleep better. The problem is, many people don’t know how to meditate and don’t prioritise the time for it.
Enter the ancient art of Yoga. We have all witnessed the clichéd downward dog photo of a bendy lady in her “activewear”, but this actually makes true use of the fashion craze. In reality, bendy lady might be getting better sleep than her discerning onlookers. Here’s why:
Insomnia is complex, as it’s not just a physical disorder; it encompasses our whole being, including our emotional and psychological state. That is why worrying during the day about a lack of sleep is counterproductive and will only heighten anxiety levels at night. According to the Medical Journal of Australia, recent surveys reveal that between 13-33 per cent of the adult population regularly have difficulty either getting to sleep or staying asleep. Perhaps if more of us jumped on board the self-care bandwagon we might find ourselves catching more zzzs.
According to Washington DC based Sleep Foundation, a lack of physical activity as well as stress and too much screen time are the leading causes of sleep disturbance. Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of the sleep program, Towards Better Sleep, Kathryn Smith says, “Combining physical activity and meditation through yoga is for many people a very effective way to help the mind and body relax. The meditative effects of yoga on the body are very similar to the process of falling asleep, whereby the heartbeat and brain waves become slower.”
One of the reasons yoga is so effective in relaxation is due to its concentration on breathing. As you hold the pose and draw in and out, it creates a physical statement for letting go of the day’s woes.
Although many people find the thought of yoga intimidating and beyond their physical reach, there are many websites and online forums that teach relaxation poses for every level and that can be performed in the comfort of your own home. One such website is: GAIA.
If yoga is not for you, that’s okay, discovering an activity that makes you feel relaxed is the easy part. Finding and allowing yourself the time to practise this activity is the tricky part.
For more tips and information on how to get better sleep, visit psychologyconsultants.com.au
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