The correlation between stress and sleep deprivation is becoming increasingly apparent in Australian society. Medical Journal of Australian reported that insomnia is a very common disorder which has significant long-term health consequences. Australian population surveys have shown that 13%–33% of the adult population have regular difficulty either getting to sleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can occur as a primary disorder or, more commonly, it can be comorbid with other physical or mental disorders.
Why does stress affect sleep? Stress is widely recognized as the body’s response to potentially harmful situations, whether real or imagined. Although the effects of stress most certainly vary from person to person, general reactions include quickened breathing, tightened muscles, spiked blood pressure, and an increased heart rate.
Mindfulness techniques for Sleep?
These are, in short, all individual components of the body’s intrinsic and universally acknowledged “fight-or-flight” response. Many stressed out people have trouble falling asleep because they feel the weight of these symptoms most heavily at night.
Because the effects of stress include quick and shallow breaths that stem almost exclusively from the upper chest, perpetually stressed and anxious people are actually in the detrimental habit of under-breathing. Many stressed people are even known for subconsciously holding their breath.
That being said, mindful breathing practices are noticeably absent from the vast majority of Western medicine. Those most familiar with the relationship between breathing and the body tend to be yogis and practitioners of Eastern wellness methodologies.
According to Medical Journal of Australia, In recent years, the technique of mindfulness has become increasingly popular and is likely to be effective in helping to promote sleep. This is by reducing cognitive and physiological arousal. Mindfulness treatment interventions have demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements in several night-time symptoms of insomnia.
Naturally, the chattering mind is focused on past or future events, whereas mindfulness focuses on being non-judgmental and being in present, which potentially can reduce mind activation.
There are a few self-help techniques you can do for instant letting go of negative thoughts, reading boring books or having a quick medication in bed. I personally use this Mindfulness meditation CDs. You can also try it on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTCXcxLjNcA
Cr., Medical Journal of Australia, Mindfulness Meditation Techniques