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Getting to Sleep -How Mindfulness can help

I’ve never heard a statistic before like the one I’m about to share with you here: of the people who live to be at least 76 years old, 100% of them will experience sleep issues

Yes 100% . Anyway, today’s blog is about using mindfulness to get to sleep.

Our minds spend most of the time either rehashing the past, or rehearsing for the future. We ruminate on what has happened that day, or last week, last month , maybe the argument with your family member or disagreement with the people at work and what we should have said, or what we should have done, or who fault it was or how we fast forward to tomorrow, next week or next year and try to guess or predict what the future will bring. If this certain thing happens, then I’ll do that or If I stay here in this job , I’ll ask for different hours or types of work etc. If we are always rehashing the past of rehearsing the future , we are very rarely in the present .

Once we settle into bed, our minds continue on this path and sometimes we are unable to switch off or relax enough to get to sleep. Our stress levels increase, our stress hormones kick in and we toss and turn , worrying more and more about the lack of sleep and getting more and more stressed about tomorrow.

We have a hard wired bias to negative thoughts, as that’s what our mInds focus on in order to keep us safe and is not so concerned with the positive thoughts..

Practising mindfulness and the ability to be in the present moment can really help settle our minds for sleep.

An hour or two before bed time, start to practise mini meditations , start letting go of your day, maybe a 3 min breathing meditation, watching the kettle boil and taking a few deep breaths to ground yourself in the present moment, eating your evening meal mindfully, savouring the smell and taste and when you are saying goodnight to the children or your partner , really enjoy that present moment experience.

Once you are in bed, comfortable and warm, let your breath bring your mind back to the present, practise letting go of the day, watching your mind and letting the thoughts float away. Not fighting thoughts of the future, nor rehashing those of the past . If we can bring our minds back to the present, we will be able to calm our stress responses, so making it easier to fall asleep.

Try it, you might be surprised.

Carole x

Mindfulness Teacher and Self Care coach .

Carole Haywood-Poole