The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation for Insomnia Relief

Devin Burke:

Hey. It’s Devin Burke, your Coaching Guide of Peaceful Night’s Rest and founder of Sleep Science Academy. And in this video we’re going to be talking about how mindfulness can help you sleep better, the benefits of mindfulness for insomnia relief. So first and foremost, I am a huge believer in mindfulness practices. Why? Because quite frankly, they work and they don’t just work super well for insomnia. They work super well for all different types of strange ailments or results as a result of not being mindful. Now, what is mindfulness? So there’s a lot of definitions when people talk about mindfulness, they talk about different things. But I like to define mindfulness as present moment awareness. So being aware of what’s present, and in most cases, most of the time are either in the past thinking about all the things we should have done or wish we would’ve done, or in the future worrying about what’s to come or what might be.

Often, we don’t spend really any time just in the moment unless we are practitioner of mindfulness, which can help create these present moment awareness and really embodying that. Mindfulness really isn’t a practice. Mindfulness is really a way of being, it’s a way of operating in the world. So some interesting studies here I wanted to share one that was actually published a few years ago in drama internal medicine included 49 middle-aged older adults who had trouble sleeping. So half completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught them meditation and other exercises designed to help them focus on moment by moment experiences, thoughts and emotions. And the other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits. So a sleep hygiene class essentially.

So both groups met six times once a week for two hours. And compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, less fatigue and depression at the end of the six sessions. So one of the ways in which a mindfulness practice actually can truly benefit people that have sleep issues is it just allows you to create a little bit of separation between your thoughts and your beliefs and yourself. So most people we’re not our thoughts. We have thoughts and oftentimes we’re identified with those thoughts. But when you practice mindfulness, you can start to step back and see your thoughts. You could witness thoughts, or see your beliefs, then practice inquiry about your thoughts and beliefs to see what the impact of those thoughts and beliefs actually are and the result of what believing them is.

So again, mindfulness. There’s a lot of ways of practicing mindfulness. It could be a formal practice where you actually sit and do a mindfulness meditation, whether that’s guided through an app or whether that’s guided from a yoga teacher or a meditation teacher. You could be mindful at any moment. Really anything can be a mindfulness meditation. Now, what we found to be very helpful for people that are struggling with sleep issues at Sleep Science Academy is actually setting a time, 20 minutes a day to practice intentionally practice mindfulness, to really start the practice just like it, practice it, basketball or anything that you’re doing new. Practicing something helps you get better at it. And mindfulness is one of those things that the more you practice, the better you get at it. And really the honest truth is it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s just we’ve learned how to be unmindful, which then creates a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety, and a lot of fear of frustration, doubt and worry, which then leads to all sorts of chaos in our lives, including sleep issues.

So if you’re watching this and you’re somebody who hasn’t practiced mindfulness, or maybe you’re intimidated by mindfulness or maybe you think that you don’t have time to practice it, I want to challenge you to actually this week commit to even just five minutes of conscious breathing, a mindful breathing. A day can be beneficial. I mean, really the research shows even just a little bit, 10 minutes to 20 minutes, even five minutes done consistently yields massive benefits over the long term.

So if you’re listening to this, I want to encourage you to get ahead and just start a practice and notice how that practice creates a sense of relaxation, a sense of peace, a sense of heightened awareness around your thoughts and your beliefs. And then you get to start to do the work to unpack those thoughts and beliefs and work with them. And there’s a lot of videos on this channel for how to do just that. So if you’re new here, welcome, subscribe to the channel and I’ll see you in the next one. Take care.