4 in 5 of us in the UK complain of disturbed, inadequate or even ‘toxic’ sleep. Half of us aren't even getting in 6 hours between putting the phone down for the last time and rising to our alarm in the morning. Sound familiar?
If this sums up your sleeping pattern, you've probably tried a few tricks already, like sleeping with the window open or reading a book. But health experts are turning to one of the oldest tricks there is for relaxation, the ancient art of meditation.
Students at Harvard University in Massachusetts, studied 49 middle-aged and older adults who had all complained of disturbed or poor sleep. One half of the group was given training on how to improve their sleep habits, while the others were taught mindfulness (meditation) techniques designed to help them focus on moment-by-moment experiences and emotions.
At the end of the study, their findings showed those in the mindfulness group complained of less fatigue, insomnia and even depression. So you can see that meditation isn't just for yoga instructors and millennials - in fact, health experts recommend we should all practice mindfulness for at least 20 minutes a day, to improve our well-being and our sleep.
So, what are the main benefits of daily mindfulness? For one, it's known to boost our levels of melatonin - a hormone that promotes restful sleep. Melatonin has an enemy in everyday stress and anxiety, so it's handy that meditation helps those too! It gives your brain the chance to reconnect with the real world and the 'now', by switching off our stress receptors. Studies have also shown that people who meditate spend more time in the REM phase when sleeping, the most important phase for recharging our batteries.
There's a stack of great apps for guided mindfulness out there, so you can start right away. Of course, if you’re still looking for a better night's sleep, then it could be time to get a new mattress. At Mattressnextday.co.uk, we can help with that. So why not have a look for a new mattress now? Sleep tight!