I've never really been a great sleeper.
When I was younger it really bothered me and I'd say the quality and length of sleep was at its worst around 15 years ago. I lived in a top floor apartment in my home town of Musselburgh in Scotland. Musselburgh just happens to be right next to the sea & generally where theres sea there seagulls. The seagulls had a wonderful routine of starting their squawking at 4.17am regular as clockwork. As I was on the top floor and it was a flat roof I had the joys of listening to this squawking and also them running about on the roof. They must be quite heavy things or have been wearing hob nail boots as they made quite a racket......squawk squawk thump thump thump squawk thump thump squawk...This was no dawn chorus I tell you.
So with the help of the seagulls I unconsciously conditioned myself to awake at 4.17am every morning and as I wasn't dropping off till around 1am my quality of life was suffering. This was one of the main reasons I started looking into personal development, NLP, hypnosis and the like, to try & grab some sleep!
Certain techniques did have an effect but I wasn't getting any consistency. That was until I started incorporating meditation into my day.
When I first started meditating I wasn't necessarily sleeping more. What I was finding though was that was far more 'with it' during the day. This then had the knock on effect of when I did wake at 4.17am I wasn't as bothered, and with that dropping off again for a while.....Sweet..
Now even though I studied and now teach this stuff, at the time, it sort of passed my by that the meditation could have been helping me all along. Lately I've been researching for a future freebie I'll be sending you on in terms of scientifically proven effects of meditation on the body. One area that kept popping up was the benefit meditation has on sleep. Not as a direct swap but more so on improving the quality of sleep you have and thus the amount of sleep you need.
One study that I came across was carried out at a University in Dehli. It used novice meditators, long time meditators and non meditators and studied reaction times before and after 40 minute periods of mediation, nap, or a control activity.
Novice meditators completed 40 minutes of meditation, nap, or control activities on six different days (two separate days for each condition), plus one night of total sleep deprivation on a different night, followed by 40 minutes of meditation.
Novice meditators were tested on the reaction time before each activity, 10 minutes after each activity and one hour later. All ten novice meditators improved their reaction times immediately following periods of meditation, and all but one got worse immediately following naps. Sleep deprivation produced a slower baseline reaction time on the test that still improved significantly following a period of meditation. In experiments with long-term experienced meditators, sleep duration was measured using both sleep journals and actigraphy. Sleep duration in these subjects was lower than the control non-meditators and general population norms, with no apparent decrements in reaction time scores.
What I love about this is that the benefits were pretty instant! Obviously if your new to it you don't have to spend 40 minutes. Just 5 minutes in the morning & when you go to bed will make a huge difference to start with.
So if you don't already why not incorporate some meditation into your day and if you want some quick tips for meditating why not mail me & I promise I'll get back to you. Details of the courses I deliver in Mind Calm Meditation can be found here.
Take it & make it easy