How Meditation Helps You Sleep & Why It’s Important
How often do you wake feeling refreshed on a Monday, full of energy and ready to take on the week? Like the majority people living and working in London, you’re most likely reaching for the coffee before you do anything else, mentally steeling yourself for the stresses of the morning commute and your inbox.
What if I told you that meditation can not only make it easier to get out of bed on a Monday morning, but help you manage your stress throughout the week, and get around to Friday feeling just as energised and on top of things? That’s exactly why I created MindMojo.
Why is a good sleep essential?
Mental and physical health is determined by the quantity and quality of sleep we get on a regular basis. Recent research shows that poor sleep allows beta amyloid to build up in the brain which leads to dementia and Alzheimers, and in the body the immune system is demolished leading to cardio vascular and weight gain issues.
Workplace stress is highly exaggerated by lack of a good night’s sleep. Often, even when we think we’re getting decent sleep, we may not be (here’s why). When you’re feeling tired, the ‘edge’ is taken off your performance. What’s more, consistent poor sleep over a prolonged period can create a destructive cycle that leads to a lack of focus and clarity, compromised creativity and productivity, and irritation and anger.
A recent study by the Rotterdam School of Management found that lack of sleep can even reduce people’s sense of self control and their ability to ‘regulate their impulses’, leading to uncharacteristic behaviours. In terms of your mental health, feelings of failure and being overwhelmed also aren’t helped by poor sleep.
How meditation helps you sleep
It’s no surprise that anyone who is mentally or physically fatigued is going to be feeling and performing below par. The effort you then make to disguise these feelings is considerable and counter-productive, but it can be dealt with effectively by meditation which calms the mind and rests the body.
The rest obtained in meditation has been found to be between two and five times deeper than when sleeping. If a good night’s sleep is added to just two twenty-minute meditations every day, the positive effects will be considerable and you’ll feel them quickly.
The very deep rest that occurs during meditation comes about when the mind and body are disengaged from the outside world and allowed to function without an agenda. When sitting comfortably, with your back supported and neck and shoulders free, the gentle sound of the mantra charms the mind, taking it to a settled state, a place where mental tranquility and deep rest can be found.
In Vedic Meditation, any thoughts which arise during your meditation are welcomed. Unlike other forms of meditation, we do not try to meditate. It is an easy, effortless and innocent process practiced twice a day for maximum results – once shortly after getting up in the morning (you can even do it sitting up in bed), and again after lunch and before dinner.
The difference meditation makes to your day
Throughout my career working for an international auction house and then when running my own art consultancy, I have found meditation to be an essential and invaluable tool to relieve me of stress and anxiety. I know what it is like to be an employee working to strict deadlines and having to meet financial targets. Equally as an entrepreneur, when the stakes are much higher, the stress can be considerably greater. Twice daily meditations of just twenty minutes give me a definite competitive edge: better decision making, greater perspective and creativity, sharper focus and more energy.