The Psychology Behind Insomnia And Mindfulness
Understand how certain patterns of behavior can turn insomnia into a frustrating cycle of sleeplessness, and how mindfulness can change that.
Insomnia is a very common occurrence. We all experience insomnia at least once in our lives. Acute insomnia is temporary and gets resolved on its own, without any medical intervention. However, sometimes, we develop a certain pattern of behavior that makes it very difficult for us to get out of insomnia. Being stressed about our lack of sleep makes falling asleep even more difficult. When this happens, insomnia becomes a psychological problem that feeds on our wrong habits and grows bigger. This blog will look at the psychology behind Primary Insomnia and the role meditation plays in tackling it.
CHRONIC INSOMNIA AND RUMINATION
Of all the repetitive thought patterns, the tendency to ruminate is identified as an important contributing factor to the development and maintenance of insomnia. Rumination is the focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions. People who ruminate spend more time awake even when they're sleepy and their sleep quality is also worse compared to good sleepers. They experience poor concentration, low mood, fatigue during the daytime, which further fuels their negative thoughts at night. This is how insomnia can turn chronic and grow into a frustrating cycle of sleeplessness, difficult to break.
[caption id="attachment_14321" align="aligncenter" width="1532"] Rumination is one of the biggest factors contributing to the development and maintenance of insomnia[/caption]
MINDFULNESS FOR THE MIND OF AN INSOMNIAC
Based on scientific research, we can deduce that mindfulness meditation allows us to disentangle from rumination in two ways:
When we participate in mindfulness meditation, we disengage from our daily concerns and worries. This meditation form works on the principles of letting go, acceptance, non-striving, and being present in the moment. These principles are directly in line with the passive nature of sleep and help us shift from rumination to thoughts that support healthy sleep.
Insomniacs are constantly worried about their inability to sleep and the consequences of poor sleep. Meditation helps us detach from these negative feelings associated with sleeplessness, reducing anxiety and breaking the cycle.
MINDFULNESS FOR THE BODY
Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) for insomnia and sleep disturbances are receiving increasing clinical and research attention. Current research evidence on its effectiveness for treating insomnia is very reassuring. Mindfulness meditation has the following benefits for insomniacs:
Reduces symptoms of insomnia: A study done on chronic insomniacs (duration of insomnia more than 6 months) shows that mindfulness meditation significantly improves sleep frequency and reduces the symptoms of insomnia i.e. stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Improves sleep quality: Another study shows evidence that mindfulness meditation interventions significantly improve sleep quality i.e. sleep duration, deep sleep, restfulness, time taken to fall asleep, etc.
DOZEE'S MINDFULNESS SOLUTIONS FOR INSOMNIA
Mindful Breathing is a practice that focuses your attention on your breathing. Breathing mindfully to make your respiration slower and deeper affects your sinus rhythm and provides quick relaxation. The benefits include relief from anxiety and falling asleep faster. If you are a beginner to meditation, 5-minute sessions of this practice will help you effortlessly start your meditation journey. You can access the session on the Dozee app.
Sound meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation that is used as an excellent tool for deep relaxation and calming the mind. This particular meditation technique is so powerful that one hour of sound bath is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep. For insomniacs, sound meditation can be a boon as it helps fill the gap in restfulness required by the body as well as the mind. Dozee, in association with Kalariyogi Shriram, has created a sound meditation session for your benefit. The session can be accessed through the Dozee App. If you wish to know more about sound meditation, click here.
[caption id="attachment_13428" align="aligncenter" width="1506"] The singing sound produced from these Tibetan Singing Bowls during sound meditation is remarkably powerful, a long-lasting hum that is very calming.[/caption]