Being mindful after a busy day to help you sleep!
How do you wind down after a busy day? Many of us use technology to soothe our over thinking minds. The stimulus of the lights in technology and what we are looking at and reading may affect our mood, energy levels and sleep. We may disconnect with how we feel through using technology. Then when faced with the silence and darkness of bed time notice our minds race with busy doing thoughts, fearful thoughts and we struggle to sleep.
Building time later in the evening to focus on either formal or informal mindfulness techniques may help as part of a healthy sleep hygiene routine. A sleep hygiene routine is basically what you do in your evening routine to help prepare your mind and body for bed. We may not have thought we do anything specifically, but taking time to wind down, lower the lights, reduce technology at least an hour before bed, go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time are all part of this routine. Mindfulness could again be added to evening activities such as cooking, reading, colouring, house work, taking a bath and listening or playing music. Being fully present and engaged in what you are doing. Noticing if your mind wanders off and bringing your attention back to the present.
Taking time to focus on specific mindfulness exercises such as the body scan or visualisation exercises may all help promote and change in brain wave active. Meditation and mindfulness helps slow down the alarm bell.
Taking the time to write down what you feel grateful for and have noticed in your day also helps train our brains to focus on positive thoughts and feelings and stimulates the prefrontal cortex. When we rush round in automatic pilot we may not notice all the little things that bring joy, make us smile, make us go wow! Taking time through your day to notice those moments and to acknowledge what you feel grateful for has been evidenced to improve our mood and mental wellbeing. Whether you use a small note pad or piece of paper on the fridge. Write down 3-5 things each day you noticed, felt or heard that made you smile, made you feel thankful. Noticing the stars if they are out, taking time to open the curtains and look up, or noticing the rain drops on the leaves, the sun rays through the window all these small beautiful things can really help you feel differently, build your resilience and support your physical and mental wellbeing.