There are many who suffer from sleep deprivation. It is called insomnia and there are many causes for it. It could be due to jet lag, a health condition, food related or because your partner snores loudly. However, most of the time, insomnia is caused by stress. Stress is due to an over-activity of the mind. The mind is either worried or upset over past events, and event future events. When the mind perceives an event it does not like or want, the body reacts to the mind and releases stress hormones. Stress hormones activate the sympathetic nervous system causing the pupils to dilate, accelerate heart rate, widen bronchial passages, constrict blood vessels and decrease motility of the large intestine. In the long term it is not only sleep, but the body may also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. The mind is thus, really important for maintaining good mental and physical health. In this post, we share how you can meditate for a restful sleep.
Most of us suffer from attention deficit. The mind has gotten used to being busy. The busyness includes watching Netflix, listening to Spotify, checking social media, and shopping - activities we tend to do to ‘rest’ the mind. With endless activities to do, we lose our concentration. Learning to concentrate actually leads our mind to well-being.
When the mind is able to sustain its attention on one thing, it is able to rest. The ability to sustain attention is the act that refuses distractions. When the mind is able to focus on just one thing, it will be able to find the space to calm down.
The reason most of us busy our minds with tasks and activities is because the mind needs a job to do. Without a ‘job’, the mind tends to feel insecure with nothing to hold onto. The problem is that most of us either have no idea how to give the mind a job to do so that it calms down. This is different from throwing many things at the mind to make it occupied.
In order to do a job and do a job well, you need to set aside ten to fifteen minutes everyday for the practise. Find a quiet place and let your family members not to disturb you in the time you allocate for the practise.
Sit in a crossed legged position on the floor. Or you can choose to sit on a chair. In both postures, keep your spine straight but relaxed. Breath in and out deeply in a relaxed manner three times to slow your breath down.
Then, bring your attention to the rising and falling movement of your abdomen. Your abdomen moves in response to the in and the out breath. The job you give your mind would be to pay attention for as long as possible the rising and falling sensations of the in and out breath in your abdomen.
You may find that it is really difficult to pay attention to just your breath at your abdomen at the start. You may want the practise to be perfect. You may feel frustrated if you feel you cannot feel the rising and falling of your abdomen. Unlike all the tasks we do in our lives, meditation does not require the process to be perfect.
If you try hard to make it perfect, you may find your breath tense and in the process tighten your body - the effect of the sympathetic nervous system being activated. So, do not set yourself a task to force your attention on your abdomen. Also, do not breath in and out harder to feel the breath. When you can feel the breath sensations in your abdomen, your job is to just know it. When you can’t feel any sensations, you just have to know it. Whatever you do, don’t try to change anything. Think of meditation as a time you have allocated to spend with yourself and not with external things. Whenever you notice that your mind has gone into a series of daydreams, just gently bring your attention back to your abdomen.
Think of meditation as a form of relaxation. It is a process not the destination. Training the mind to sustain its attention is not the goal. Rather, the entire process itself is relaxing and something different from everything we have done in our lives.
You can find other digital mental health resources by visiting the Singaporean IMH Programme.
There are other bedtime rituals to help you sleep better. Sleep could also be affected by an uncomfortable bed mattress or bedlinen. Bedding Affairs offer bedding accessories, bedlinen to adjustable bed to help you rest well while you sleep.
Most of our romance takes place in the bedroom. Indulge in romance with your partner with these 5 ways to make your bedroom romantic.