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Mindfulness Exercises to Help You Sleep

Quality sleep has long been valued for their rejuvenated and restorative effects on your health. However, “about 35 to 50 percent of adults worldwide regularly experience insomnia symptoms. For many people, sleeping difficulty is related to stress,” observed healthline.com. “Stress can cause anxiety and tension, making it hard to fall asleep. In some cases, stress can simply worsen existing sleep issues.”

But as difficult as sleep deprivation may be, a solution does exist for this ongoing problem, namely mindfulness. Described by WebMD.com as a process that “involves being aware of your thoughts, senses, feelings, and environment moment by moment,” mindfulness also entails that “you gently accept what you are thinking and feeling without judgment.”

Aside from quality sleep, the website cited that mindfulness has a number of benefits for your physical and mental health.

“Mindfulness techniques may be useful in managing blood pressure, heart conditions, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal problems…mindful meditation is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, marital conflicts, and substance abuse,” said WebMD.com.

The website added that mindfulness can also improve well-being. “[Mindfulness] might help you enjoy the simple things, leading to a satisfying life. It may also enable you to deal with hard times.”

A Harvard University study of 49 sleep-deprived adults backed these findings. “Half [of the study participants] completed a mindfulness program that taught them meditation and other exercises…[While] the other half [of the respondents] completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits,” the university noted. “Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions.”

 

Mindfulness exercises to help you sleep

  • Mindfulness meditation

Health experts held up mindfulness meditation as a leading form of mindfulness exercise. “[With mindfulness meditation,] you mainly focus on your breathing and pay attention to your present thoughts and feelings. While doing this, try not to think about your past experiences or the future,” said WebMD.com. “Mindfulness meditation is meant to trigger a relaxation response and take your mind off daily issues.”

According to healthline.com, the steps are as follows:

  1. Remove all distractions from your room, including your phone. Lie down in a comfortable position.

  2. Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 10 counts, then hold your breath for 10 counts. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat five times.

  3. Inhale and tense your body. Pause, relax, and exhale. Repeat five times.

  4. Notice your breath and body. If a body part feels tight, consciously relax it.

  5. When a thought comes up, slowly return your focus to just your breathing.

  6.  

The website suggested starting mindfulness meditation “3 to 5 minutes before bed. Over time, slowly increase the time to 15 to 20 minutes.”

Harvard Medical School recommended ”practicing mindfulness [meditation] during the day, ideally for [up to] 20 minutes…The idea is to create a reflex to more easily bring forth a sense of relaxation.” Harvard maintained that this result will pay off, as it will “evoke the relaxation response at night when you can’t sleep…The relaxation response is so, well, relaxing that your daytime practice should be done sitting or moving [as in yoga or tai chi] so as to avoid nodding off.”

WebMD.com also suggested using positive affirmations. These include “positive word[s] or phrase[s] [like ‘relax’ or ‘I am relaxed'], or making a sound [‘om’]. You may do these claiming actions repeatedly [silently or aloud] while inhaling and exhaling.”

  • Other mindfulness techniques

If you decided that mindfulness meditation isn’t for you, don’t worry, as there are other viable options to consider. According to WebMD.com, these include:

  1. Urge surfing: WebMD.com identified urge surfing as monitoring transient inclinations. “[Urge surfing is] noticing your urges and cravings. Pay attention to your body’s desires with the knowledge that it will pass,” noted the website. “The certainty replaces the wish that the urge will go away; thus, you may control the craving.”

  2. Sensory mindfulness: Sensory mindfulness is distinct to mindful meditation because “to use this technique [sensory mindfulness], note the sounds, tastes, smells and sights you experience and name them without judging,” said WebMD.com.

  3. Body sensation mindfulness: WebMD.com identified body sensation mindfulness as “appreciating your whole body and paying attention to the simple sensations, like itching, and letting them go.”

  4. Emotional mindfulness: This technique of mindfulness entails you to “feel all emotions, name them, and let them pass.” WebMD.com added that this type of mindfulness, as with the other forms, should be processed “without judgment.”

 

Conclusion

Mindfulness techniques are innovative methods that could help you get the quality sleep you need to improve your life. However, a relaxed mind is essential to make mindfulness  techniques, and maintain the calm and focus needed to make it work. These include a quiet environment with calm music or sounds instead of loud, noisy environs. Another is focusing your attention on your present environment, as opposed to your external world. WebMD.com urges “maintain[ing] your breathing pattern or focus on an image in your head to prevent your brain from wandering off.” Attitude and acceptance is also important, specifically “accept that it is natural for your mind to wander, and stay calm when it does.” Lastly, your body’s positioning is just as vital, specifically a position that you are most comfortable in. This includes trying to lie in bed before starting your mindfulness meditation.

King Koil can back your mindfulness meditation through the use of high-quality materials in mattresses, as they are essential in getting sound, good quality sleep through its ‘Quality Sleep System’, namely Comfort, Support and Durability. Specifically the use of high-quality materials to achieve comfort, innovations like Innerspring as well as the New Zoned mattress system to give support.

Premium quality beds such as the Super Premium King Koil Posture Bond or Premium King Koil Spinal Guard will help you get quality sleep. King Koil’s All New Signature Gold Response series of beds can also help from its use of the Auto Response Gold Coil as part of its Auto Zoning System. These innovations provide flexible support by adjusting to pressure from your spine.

King Koil’s bed linens, pillows, bolsters and quilts, and mattress protectors can also help you get the quality sleep you need. So drop by the nearest King Koil outlet and let us help you attain this goal with our range of products.

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