Many experts are now recognizing that sleep is as important to a healthy life, if not more so, than exercise or the food that we eat. And yet we live in a world where many squeeze more and more into their day while minimizing the value of a good night’s rest.
Discounting the importance of sleep is one aspect of the problem, denial is sweet. Another equally disturbing trend is that many find it difficult to get good quality sleep even though they make the time for it. Lying in bed with your eyes open feeling anxious about not sleeping is stressful, to say the least.
The good news is that there are many lifestyle factors that can be addressed to turn this around. And the solutions differ based upon the habits of the person suffering with the problem. For some, excess stimulation (e.g. violent TV shows) before going to bed is an issue. For others, irregular sleep hours are a contributor. Food and/or beverage consumption may be a problem for others. Stress reduction, however, plays a key role for almost everyone.
Stress and worry excite our mind. Despite the fatigue in the body, our mind and brain under stress does not fall asleep easily or stay asleep. You’d have to be living under a rock to not recognize that the world is in a state of chronic stress. Releasing the pressure of a stress filled day is key to better sleep.
A particularly valuable tool to quiet the mind and reduce stress and worry is meditation. With the practice of Effortless Meditation™, we directly experience and know calm and mental stillness. When we establish the platform of deep relaxation and stillness in our lives, we can more effectively address other actions that will further promote a healthy night’s rest.
Many possibilities open up for us when our mind is still. Bring your brain and mind to stillness every day and better sleep will come more effortlessly.
Greg Schweitzer, a meditation teacher for more than 35 years, teaches at Twin Ponds Center Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.