These past two years have been pretty stressful and for a lot of people, it has cost them to miss out on some much needed sleep.
It’s not just stress that keeps people awake though as those with chronic pain will know all too well that they can easily develop insomnia due to their pain – dubbed ‘painsomnia’.
The good thing is that there could be an easy hack to help you feel as though you’ve had more sleep than you really have and according to new research published in the Journal of Business Venturing, there might just be a way to do that.
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Experts from Oregon State University, the University of Tennessee and Syracruse University claim that doing just 10 minutes of mindfulness exercises a day, such as breathing exercises, can help you feel as if you got an extra 44 minutes of sleep, according to the Mirror.
The study found that busy entrepreneurs who were feeling very tired – and who didn’t have enough time to sleep – found that “mindfulness exercises provide avenues for entrepreneurs to combat exhaustion”.
The research also showed how sleep and mindfulness go hand-in-hand with researchers concluding that “these two factors compensate for one another; as the usage of one increases, the efficacy of the other decreases.”
Charles Munieks, the study’s lead author, explained: “You can’t replace sleep with mindfulness exercises, but they might help compensate and provide a degree of relief.
“As little as 70 minutes a week, or 10 minutes a day, of mindfulness practice may have the same benefits as an extra 44 minutes of sleep a night. If you’re feeling stressed and not sleeping, you can compensate with mindfulness exercises to a point but when you’re not low on sleep, mindfulness doesn’t improve those feelings of exhaustion.”
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What is mindfulness?
Sarah Romotsky, the Director of Healthcare at Headspace, defines mindfulness as “the quality of being present by focusing one’s awareness on our feelings, thoughts and sensations without judgement. By noting emotions and feelings they are able to manage them in a healthy manner and approach life with a refreshed mind.”
Speaking to the NHS, Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, adds: “Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience and to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.
“This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us.
“Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: ‘Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?'”
For more information and tips on mindful exercises, visit www.mind.org.uk here or headspace.com here.