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The Importance of Sleep

7 Practices to Help You Be More Mindful

It would be nearly impossible to overstate the importance of sleep when it comes to health, never mind mindfulness. Getting the right amount of sleep and good quality sleep is so important that it’s been described as the foundation of health -without it, nothing else works right.

 

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep, even for one night? Your glucose (blood sugar) levels get thrown off, as does your hormone balance. Your blood pressure and energy levels will get dinged. You’ll crave sugar and carbs.

 

Decision-making will be hard. So will focusing on tasks. You’ll be forgetful, possibly cranky, and have lowered productivity. You’re more likely to have any sort of accident, especially one involving driving or machinery. Learning something new with too little sleep is difficult to impossible.

 

And that’s all on just one night. When sleep deprivation is chronic, the problems become chronic too. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other health issues can often be traced back to sleeping issues. So can stress and anxiety.

 

Even cancer sometimes has its starting point in chronic sleep problems. Some people lose their jobs due to lowered productivity as a result of not sleeping. Or they might keep their jobs but see their personal lives suffer.

 

If it does all of this to your normal life, what do you think sleep problems do to your ability to be mindful?

 

If you said they impact it, you’re right. They can outright obliterate it. This means one of the most important things you can do to improve your mindfulness practice is to get enough sleep. 

 

How much sleep do you need? Anywhere from 7-9 hours a night is normal for adults. It varies based on your individual body. Start improving your sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene. Set yourself a bedtime every night -and keep it. Create a bedtime routine that you follow every night to signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.

 

Do not use your phone or watch TV in bed. Once you lay down, it should be to go to sleep. Use blackout curtains if you need to block light from outside. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm because it can impact your sleep habits. Don’t indulge in late-night snacking, especially on carbs.

 

If none of this helps, then you might have some underlying issues going on. See your doctor to find out if you have sleep apnea or if stress or anxiety could be causing your sleep troubles. 



 

 

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