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mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation - the key to better sleep

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New research shows that practising mindfulness meditation regularly may support your sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, mindfulness meditation may help support a healthy sleep, according to new research out of the US.

Published in 2021, the results of the study showed that people who were experiencing sleep disturbance on a regular basis enjoyed improvements in everything from sleep quality to pre- sleep arousal and daytime sleepiness once they started using Calm, a mindfulness meditation app.

In a nutshell, study participants’ sleep improved after eight weeks of using the app for just 10 minutes a day.

Mindfulness and sleep

It’s not the first time that mindfulness meditation has been linked to getting a better night’s sleep. A 2015 study found that meditating mindfully for 10 minutes twice daily improved sleep quality and sleep duration for people with zero meditation experience, after just two weeks. Three years later, a review study that included 18 different trials came to the same conclusion – mindfulness meditation was effective in supporting healthy sleep.

According to the authors of the most recent research, the beauty of using the Calm app to help improve sleep is that it’s both affordable and accessible, which makes light work out of practising mindfulness meditation.

So, what is mindfulness meditation anyway?

Essentially, it involves bringing your attention to the present, often by focusing on your breathing, without letting your mind drift towards thoughts or concerns about the past or future. If you’ve never engaged with mindfulness before, a good place to start is by discovering and experimenting with a handful of ways to practise it during the day.Or, you can try one of two meditation techniques here.

And bear in mind that according to the research that supports the use of mindfulness meditation for a good night’s sleep, you can choose to meditate whenever you like – it doesn’t have to be close to bedtime in order to be beneficial. What’s most important is simply that you do it regularly.

Are you getting enough sleep?

According to the Sleep Health Foundation 20 to 35 per cent of Australians are not getting enough sleep and are experiencing a range of symptoms as a result, including:
  • Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Not sure whether you’re getting enough sleep or how much shut-eye you actually need in the first place to feel well rested and function well during the day? You can learn more about that here.