How Discovering Your Life’s Purpose Cures Insomnia
Written by Celine Mellany.
Do you have trouble sleeping every night? If you are one of the 50 to 70 million Americans, suffering from insomnia, a new evidence-based research has found that finding your purpose in life can actually cure your sleeplessness.
Study On Having Purpose In Life Can Cure Insomnia
The Northwestern University and Rush University Medical Center research found that developing your purpose in life, which could be enhanced through mindfulness therapy may be the solution to insomnia and other sleeping disorders, such as REM behavior disorder, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Published in the journal Sleep Science and Practice, 832 participants were observed and given a 32-question survey on sleep and a 10-question survey on their purpose in life. Their ages range from 60 to 100, where more than half of the group was African-American.
The results revealed that those who indicated they had a sense of purpose in life had better sleep quality, were 63 percent less likely to develop sleep apnea, and were 52 percent less likely to develop restless leg syndrome.
Senior study author Jason Ong, associate professor of Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, came to the conclusion that assisting people in finding their purpose in life is an effective drug-free method to have a better quality of sleep. He added that people can develop their sense of direction in life through mindfulness therapies. The people in the study were mostly older adults who had lesser sleep disturbance symptoms over the period of two-year follow ups. Neuropsychologist and lead author, Arlene Turner, reported that people who have developed meaning in their lives had better health in general.
Turner believes that people who have healthy behaviors were less likely to have biological sleep problems, including RLS and sleep apnea. She correlates that having a better disposition equates to less stress and anxiety. People who have high stress levels have more tendency to have poor sleep quality.
Turner and Ong further revealed that more studies should be done to see how developing a purpose in life can impact sleep. The main author also added that they are gearing on further research to know how mindfulness behavior therapies could cure sleeping issues.
If you are interested how mindfulness therapy can help with sleeping problems, such as REM behavior disorder, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, it is better to understand first what is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is one of the useful relaxation techniques used to change the brain’s condition of worrying into a calmer state. It is the act of concentrating on the present time, helping the individuals to become more conscious of their emotions, thoughts and physical senses.
This strategy helps people to be of more in control of their thoughts and actions, rather than their thoughts controlling them. Meditation therapies incorporate meditation, relaxation and awareness exercises.
There are variety of meditation therapies, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based therapy that helps cure insomnia. These meditation exercises are effective in overcoming sleep disturbances, treating depression and other psychological concerns.
How to improve sleep quality through mindfulness technique?
The two elements of mindfulness meditation include:
- Accept the worries, stress and thoughts disturbing your brain in a positive way. Activate the “doing” mode than the “being” mode.
- Exercise meditation techniques to help you relax.
Meditation techniques that will help you sleep better:
- Breathing Awareness Exercise: Concentrate on your breathing while lying. Observe how the air passes to your nose and how you expel the air. You may notice that your thoughts would wander, but don’t worry about it. Acknowledge the thoughts, but don’t think hat you’re doing it wrong. Instead, focus on your breathing again. Practice this exercise until you notice how focused you are on your breathing. This helps you to relax and avoid consuming yourself with worries.
- Body scan relaxation: Another effective way that helps in relieving tension and would help you to sleep better is by imagining your brain taking wandering on the different parts of your body. Begin with your brain visiting your toes. Think how your muscles on your foot tightens and relaxes. Work on the other foot. Take a trip to your calf, knee, thigh, hands, back, stomach, chest, shoulders, head and face. Work on scanning, tightening and relaxing your body parts. Focus your attention to what you’re doing every time you feel that you’re distracted. Just like the breathing technique, this helps you to regain focus, helps you relax and free your mind of tensions.
About the Author
Celine Mellany is a New Jersey-based neurologist. She helps people in improving their sleep quality because she believes that it is important in having a better quality of life. She, herself, suffered insomnia for nearly 15 years, until she found out that meditation strategies can improve sleep quality. She is also a writer, read her latest post about how does heroin addiction treatment works.
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