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meditation- a technique to improve the quality of sleep and reduce stress

Are you looking for ways to improve the quality of your sleep or reduce stress? Try meditation. Meditation has several health benefits. Meditation not only helps to recharge the batteries during the day, but also reduces stress.

What happens in sleep?

Quality sleep can be a real challenge, most especially as a result of ageing. Relaxation and recreation is very crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, sleep and meditation are two completely different states of consciousness . Hence, sleep cannot replace meditation and vice versa.  Sleep usually occurs when you are really tired. Whereas while meditating, you can intentionally give yourself a targeted and conscious break at any time  to reduce your stress levels.

After a busy day, the body uses a lot of energy to perform daily tasks. The energy needs to be replenished. Hence, we get tired and hungry so that we can refill our energy tank. Additionally, the body needs rest, this triggers the release of the sleep hormone known as melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced and secreted by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is located just above the middle of your brain. Melatonin is responsible for making us sleep deeply. During this deep sleep phase, also called the NREM sleep phase (non rapid eye movement), growth hormones are secreted from the anterior pituitary gland into the bloodstream, which stimulates the growth of body cells. 

The next phase is the REM phase (Rapid Eye Movement). The eyes move quickly while it is closed back and forth, during this phase.  Hence, its name-id eye movement phase. Body functions are mobilized and activated in the NEM phase, compared to the NREM  phase, where the body is immobilized. The brain works maximally and we are semi conscious during the REM phase. Furthermore, there is a high tendency to have dreams In the REM phase .The non-REM and REM phases of sleep alternate approximately every 90 minutes. We undergo these sleep cycles during sleep.we These sleep phases are necessary for us to have a restful sleep and feel refreshed.

Very little or no sleep causes body weakness,  restlessness,  bad mood and inability to concentrate. In extreme cases, lack of sleep can even lead to hallucinations. 

 

Importance of good Sleep

  • Regeneration of body cells occurs  during sleep. The growth of new cells and repair of damaged cells occurs during sleep. has been discovered that we spend around a third of our lives in bed due to sleep. 
  • Information recorded in the brain during the day is transferred from short term  memory to the long-term memory during sleep. 
  • Sleep energises the body system generally,  and also keeps us very active to function optimally during the day. 
  • Quality sleep also lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, regulates the body system metabolism and ensures balance of hormonal secretions.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity so as to achieve a mentally clear, calm and stable state of mind.

 Several types of meditation are practiced in many cultures and religions around the world such as spiritual meditation,  mindfulness meditation, movement meditation, visualization meditation  etc.

Moreover, pulse and blood pressure drops and the breath is deepened during meditation. This causes a calming effect on our nervous system. 

In a research study, a positive influence of meditation on the quality of sleep could be determined. 49 adults over 54 years of age were examined. The test subjects who meditated regularly showed fewer signs of insomnia, depression and fatigue than the control group after only six weeks. Additionally, researchers found that meditation can be as effective as psychotherapy or sleeping pills. Meditation also has several health benefits, some of which are;

The Health benefits of meditating

  • Meditation is a basic requirement for restful sleep. It  enables you to find peace within. 
  •  Meditation lowers  body stress, 
  • Meditation relieves the mind from emotional baggage and worrisome thoughts. This makes your sleep deeper and calmer.
  • Meditation reduces the risk of anxiety, depression or chronic fatigue, These are complaints that can arise from a lack of sleep.

How to meditate

 Meditation is very easy to learn . There are a number of different meditation techniques. Meditation basically has to do with mindfulness. It involves being totally with yourself and in the moment, no matter the thoughts and emotional state of your mind.

 A good starting point for meditation, especially for beginners, is to focus on your own breathing. If you feel your mind deviates from your breathing pattern, try and return your attention to your breath and focus on it.

5 Steps to meditation 

  • Choose a quiet place where you can meditate.
  • Choose a place where you can relax and sit down comfortably. You can choose to leave your eyes open or close.
  • Focus on your breath. Breathe in consciously and out again continuously. 
  • Concentrate on the flow of the thoughts running through your mind without judging or acting upon those thoughts.
  • A few minutes are enough for meditation daily, especially for starters. Gradually, You can increase the duration for meditation .

Furthermore, meditation does not improve sleep as quickly as a sleeping pill does, most especially at the onset of the meditation exercise. It takes a while to begin to see the result that comes with meditation. However, meditation is worth it as it is essential for our wellbeing. 

CONCLUSION

The health benefits of meditation, makes it highly beneficial for all individuals, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity . A daily meditation routine is recommended regularly. Choose a convenient day and time for meditation  and be consistent  with it. This would help improve the quality of your sleep and reduce stress overtime as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Oluwapelumi

The author Oluwapelumi

Oluwapelumi is health and wellness expert with years of experience in this field. She likes reaching out to people as to how they can live a healthy lifestyle.

tag lifestyle exercise

(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)

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