Are we on the brink of another heatwave or are we seconds away from another fleeting heavy shower? Who knows.
The temperature looks to be rising again and while that’s joyful during the day, come night it’s nothing short of annoying – especially if you’re in a cramped upstairs room, feeling the brunt of heat rising.
But this is where meditation techniques can help soothe us for a good night’s sleep.
Eve Lewis Prieto, direction of meditation at Headspace, says meditation works because it ‘trains us to be less in our heads’.
‘The mind’s tendency to get caught up in thoughts is perhaps strongest at bedtime when we suddenly stop and be still,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Meditation for sleep is a specific, guided experience that offers a natural sleep aid all on its own, allowing us to let go of the day – everything that’s happened and everything that’s been said – so that we can rest the mind while simultaneously resting the body.
‘In scientific terms, meditation helps lower the heart rate by igniting the parasympathetic nervous system and encouraging slower breathing, thereby increasing the prospect of a quality night’s sleep.’
You don’t need to be a master meditator in order to use simple practices at night either – Eve says there are techniiques we can try that are inspired by meditation.
Shift your thinking
Though it sounds obvious, we often don’t think objectively about where our mind is – rather, we get lost in our thoughts.
Eve tells us: ‘Sleeping in the heat is no fun, but the more we engage in the discomfort the harder it will be to get to sleep.
‘It can be very easy to lie there and get annoyed and angry about the fact that the heat is keeping you awake; which in turn can activate the stress response which can actually increase your body’s temperature.
‘A lot of the pain and suffering though comes from ruminating about the situation in the mind and this is what creates the tension; and more heat.’
The more you feel unsettled by the heat, the longer you’re going to be kept awake given how the body works.
Slow your breathing
At the core of meditation there is conscious breathwork and applying this to your sleep routine can help combat the irritation of heat.
‘Doing some slow deep breathing can be a really effective way to help calm the mind and body down – this actually signals to the brain that all is okay and helps to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, which typically rise when we are stressed,’ Eve explains.
‘While meditation is not about clearing away or stopping thoughts, it is about learning to be more at ease with your thoughts and more compassionate to yourself and others.
‘In this way, mindful meditation can reduce stress, and help pave the way for good night’s rest.’
The technique of visualisation can also distract the mind from any frustration that only serves to keep you awake.
Eve says: ‘Doing a visualisation exercise can also be a great way to shift the mindset.
‘Perhaps try imagining yourself in a cool, breezy space, the wind is softly blowing on your skin.
‘We’re very good at creating a lot of disaster scenarios in the mind so this is really about flipping that around, and instead cultivating an image that sees you feeling cool and calm.’
Use ambient noise
Another thing you could try is playing soft white noise or ambient sounds, which can work to take your mind away from thinking about how overheated you feel.
Eve says this work because it can ‘create a relaxing, peaceful environment’.
Try not to worry about a bad night’s sleep
Finally – if all else fails – decide to be fine with not getting a solid night’s sleep.
‘Some nights no matter what you do it will still be hot and sweaty and hard to sleep, so letting go of the idea that you will get a perfect night’s sleep will also help,’ Eve says, as sometimes the pressure of wanting to be fast asleep by a certain time can worsen the chances of that happening.
‘Know that a lot of other folks are probably feeling the same way, so be kind to yourself,’ she adds.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article