Having a good night’s sleep and feeling rested when you wake up makes your mindfulness practice MUCH easier! This means that looking after your sleep conditions is part of your mindfulness practice. It’s part of my first guidelines from the ‘7 Guidelines to Cultivate Peace & Kindness’ – Honour The Body.
In this podcast I provide 15 tips for a better night’s sleep.
1. Let go of using all digital devices at least fifteen minutes before sleep. Mobile phones, tablets and other devices stimulate the mind. Especially if they’re internet-enabled and socially connected.
2. Meditate briefly before going to sleep. A simple breathing meditation for two minutes helps to relax you.
3. Perform a mental body scan just before sleeping by consciously bringing your awareness to each part of the body.
4. Practice gratitude before sleep, by recalling things you are grateful for. This will gladden the mind and contribute towards a more positive transition into sleep.
5. If it’s noisy where you live and not possible to reduce the noise, then get yourself some comfortable ear plugs to use during sleep.
6. Select a peaceful alarm to wake you up in the morning rather than something abrupt or rowdy.
7. You spend much of your life asleep so it makes sense to ensure you have a good quality bed and mattress. Keeping the body comfortable during sleep is part of honoring the body.
8. Remove all clutter from your bedroom. Clutter in your external environment clutters the mind.
9. Allow fresh air into your bedroom during sleep if this is possible.
10. Avoid liquids at least three hours before sleep. This will help minimize the chance of your bladder waking you up during the night.
11. Let go of caffeine in the afternoon and evening. This will reduce mind stimulation.
12. Avoid foods which disturb your sleep and negatively influence your dreams. The foods I’m referring to here vary from person to person. For me, they tend to be spicy foods, cheese and chocolate. You’ll need to experiment with this to see what helps and hinders your sleep.
13. Where possible, go to sleep and wake up at regular times. This will program your body and help you remain asleep for the duration.
14 .Be mindful of how long you nap for during the day. If you do take a nap in the day, experiment with shortening its duration or removing it altogether. If we accept our tiredness during the day, we often find it soon passes. Observe how this positively impacts your sleep on an evening.
15. Analyze your sleep with a device. I used a wrist band to monitor the amount of light and deep sleep I was having. Deep sleep is where the mind stops dreaming and the body repairs and recharges. I noticed a big correlation between the amount of deep sleep I had and how well I felt the following day. The device monitored me overnight and fed the information to my phone and computer for review. You can analyze your sleep patterns and identify the things you do during the day that help or hinder your sleep quality.