Is mindfulness meditation effective for anxiety and better sleep during the pandemic?

mindfulness printed paper near window

Many studies have proved that practicing mindfulness meditation can help to improve sleep. You maybe have heard about how it can help to reduce anxiety and, as a result, lower cortisol in the body. High-level cortisol can disrupt your sleep and make it harder to fall asleep.

Today I want to share with you a very new study the is relevant for our uncertain times. 

Can they also prove mindfulness meditation to help people that are stressed in the pandemic?

Recent research found that mindfulness meditation programs can help people fall asleep more quickly and experience better sleep overall.

Wuhan Study

One study conducted in Wuhan, China, researched how mindfulness might help sleep better during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the participants followed either guided mindfulness meditation or induced mind-wandering (unfocused attention).

The people followed these mindfulness practices for ten days. After the ten days, they reported how mindful they were and how much sleep they got the next day.

After considering other factors like how much caffeine people drank, how they were, and prior anxiety levels, the researchers analyzed how long people slept.

 They carried the analysis out while the Covid virus was spreading and deaths increased in their communities. 

So the answer is…

Participants who practiced mindfulness became more mindful didn’t lose as much sleep as those in the other group. It is likely because mindfulness helped with reducing their worries and mind wandering.

Mindfulness can help people notice and become more aware of negativity. It can also help cope with challenging feelings without fighting them and lowering their intensity. When people can be less stressed, they can prevent emotions from spiraling out of control.

If mindfulness meditation is not part of your night routine, why don’t you start tonight?

I’m going to give a short breathing practice that you can easily complete on your own.

Before you go to bed tonight:

  1. Practice mindfulness of breath meditation.
  2. Set a timer for three to five minutes and place your phone in do not disturb.
  3. Try to pick a gentle ringtone or lower the volume to the lowest setting.

Lay down on your bed, relax your head on your pillow, cover yourself with a cozy blanket and close your eyes. 

Place your hands on your belly. Begin counting your exhalations backward, starting from five to one. When you come to one, repeat the word, relax. Then restart again, counting from five. Keep doing this until the timer rings.

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