Mindfulness, Sleep and Stress management

After months of lockdown restrictions, the return to university is full of excitement. However, for many weeks and months without structure and endless Netflix binge watching this has inevitability affected our sleep patterns. Why is this a concern you might ask? Well, sleep plays a vital role in our physical and mental health. If we are physically and mentally well we are able to perform and function efficiently. This ultimately aids performance and improves concentration throughout the day (which is useful during those long 3 hour lectures and seminars). As someone who struggles with a regular sleep pattern and finds it difficult to sleep here are a few personal recommendations to sleep your way to success!

Here’s what I’m doing:

1. During lockdown I discovered sleep hypnosis and sleep meditation on YouTube. I have previously tried hypnosis for anxiety and it worked surprisingly well so I though I might as well give this ago! If you are already a fan of ASMR, sleep meditation might well be just the thing for you. The channel I follow is “The ASMR Psychologist”, the sleep meditations and hypnosis are in both whispered and soft spoken voices.

I have been listening to the “The ASMR Psychologist” channel for months and I miraculously fall asleep through every one of the videos! If you have images of someone swinging a pocket watch and saying “you are sleepy,” this sadly is not the case (although, I have developed an impulse to buy a lava lamp). Hypnosis and meditation merely offer different relaxation techniques that help you drift of into a restful slumber.

2. Turn off your phone! The blue lights in our phones and screens hinder our body’s ability to sleep by blocking sleep hormones. Reducing screen time is easier said than done as the majority of our lives revolve around our phones and online streaming services such as Netflix and iPlayer. There is also the adding temptation of scrolling through Twitter, TikTok and Instagram until the early hours of the morning. So to help your body fall into its natural sleep pattern cease all screen exposure an hour or so before you go to sleep. Instead read a book, have a bath or whatever else helps you relax.

3. Finally, how about exercise? Yoga is a perfect for of relaxation (if you can do this without pulling a muscle of putting your back out I salute you). Yoga with Adriene and her 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube is worth checking out and I know many people who are a massive fan of this channel. Plus it saves you paying for Yoga classes!

Remember these are just suggestions on how to get a restful night’s sleep and you may have already nailed this! However, some of us have been spending months binge watching Normal People, I May Destroy You and all three series of Killing Eve on iPlayer and could do with a digital detox and a decent night’s sleep.

Amber Xxx

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