If you struggle with mornings, are constantly pressing the snooze button, and find yourself reaching for your second coffee before you’ve even clocked in, your lack of sleep could be harming your performance at work. Feeling drained and tired, and being less productive as a result, could be holding you back from reaching your goals.
We’ll look at why a good night’s sleep is important, the secret to being well-rested, and how you can implement mindfulness to feel more refreshed in the morning.
Why is sleep so important for our health?
On average, we spend up to a third of our lives sleeping. In fact, it’s the activity we spend most of our life doing.
Whilst it’s easy to think this time could be spent more ‘productively’, like staying up to meet deadlines or waking up earlier to squeeze in emails before leaving for work, regular poor sleep can increase your risk of medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. It can also lead to bad moods, stress, and poor focus.
Most of us need around eight hours of sleep every night to perform at our best, but it’s not all about the numbers – the quality of our sleep is important too. The ‘deep sleep’ stage of the sleep cycle is important for restorative sleep and it’s when our body recovers. REM sleep is thought to be crucial for cognitive functions. Usually, this happens after we’ve been asleep for around 90 minutes.
However, even though sleep is so critical for our physical and mental health, one in three adults suffers from poor sleep, and if you find yourself struggling with chronic sleep issues, this can lead to depression and anxiety.
The secret to a good night’s sleep: mindfulness
We’ve all heard the tried and tested tips for drifting off to sleep: reduce your screen time, no coffee before bed, create a calming environment. But it’s not only our bodies that need to be well-rested – our minds do too. Racing thoughts and negative thinking can have a detrimental impact on our sleep, and worries about not being able to sleep can cause you to lose more sleep.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, and it’s beneficial for our mental wellbeing. Meditating before bed can help you to get to sleep easier and get better quality sleep. By focusing on our breathing and the present moment, we can avoid our minds drifting off and stimulate the relaxation response.
The benefits of mindfulness for sleep
Improve your productivity
Sleepless nights can have a serious impact on your mental health, making it more difficult to concentrate and make decisions. It can also directly impact your productivity. A good night’s rest gives you the energy to do more and improve the quality of your work.
Swap stress for relaxation
Especially in the winter, it’s easy to feel under pressure to accomplish everything in the short daylight hours, increasing your stress and fatigue. Allowing yourself the time and space to wind down and calm your thoughts will help you to rest your mind as well as your body.
Enhance your focus
Of course, being well-rested and ready to tackle the day ahead, whether it’s back to back meetings or deadline day, will allow you to be more focused. Quality sleep has been proven to improve our clarity, focus, and concentration, leading to fewer distractions.
Mindfulness techniques to try
Here are a few mindfulness techniques to start with on your journey to a better night’s sleep:
- Breathing exercises
- Body scanning
If you don’t know where to begin, why not try guided meditations from Zen Buddy to support you through the process. Ready to get a good night’s sleep and reach your potential?
Ready to get a good night’s sleep and reach your potential?
With this course, you’ll access expert guidance to tackle your insomnia head-on. You’ll be encouraged to identify the underlying causes of your sleep issues, whether that’s worrying thoughts at bedtime, poor sleep hygiene, or something else. You’ll discover new habits that will help bring about those hard-to-catch ‘zzzzz’s.’