How A Meaningful Life Can Help You Sleep Better
Jul 27, 2017
Do you wake up each day with a purpose? Whether you do or not could have a significant impact on your sleep and sleep-related conditions.
A study recently published in Sleep Science and Practice journal demonstrated this in over 800 senior citizens. The results showed that those who said their lives were meaningful experienced:
- Better sleep quality
- 52 percent less likelihood of restless leg syndrome
- 63 percent less likely to deal with sleep apnea
While this study focused on seniors, researchers noted the results could apply to other ages, too.
This is a beautiful demonstration of how the mind and body are connected when it comes to health. Mindfulness of our everyday lives and the emotions we experience may have a profound effect on how our bodies function, including how we sleep.
When we feel our daily actions have meaning, anxiety and stress are often reduced due to a better overall outlook. Less emotional distress correlates with better health and wellness. If you’re currently experiencing sleep concerns and nothing else seems to work, it could be time to look more deeply at how you view your purpose in life.
Being Mindful of Your Purpose
While there are many factors that contribute to quality of sleep, stress is a big one—and stress can accumulate if we aren’t living in alignment with our inner truths. Mindfulness helps us explore feelings of unfulfillment that can lead to stress on the body. Here are some ways to cultivate more mindfulness and meaning in your life:
Think About What You Love
What do you love to do? What’s something that makes you lose track of time? If your current days involve working a job or doing other activities that don’t bring you joy, find ways to incorporate more of what you do love doing.
This could be taking up a regular hobby or side business, joining a group of other people with your interests, or even making a plan to switch career paths. Spending time on things we love can remind us that we have a unique purpose in this world.
Find What Matters to You
Take some time to explore what’s most important to you in this life. You might be used to listening to others’ opinions on what is best for you—but have you stopped to think about your own values? Ask difficult questions like:
- What problems do I see in the world that I’d like to change?
- Who would I like to help?
- Who is most important in my life?
- How can I use my own experiences to help others?
- Does my current lifestyle align with these thoughts and values?
Give yourself space to explore the answers. You might even get out a pen and paper to write them down.
Many of us rush through each day without much introspection. Meditation can be a powerful tool for slowing down and listening to our own unfiltered thoughts.
Try meditating for 3-5 minutes before you start your day and/or right before you go to bed. This practice can increase self-awareness and bring answers to questions like those listed above.
Of course, what we put in our bodies through food and supplements has a huge impact on our quality of sleep, too. So as you journey towards a more meaningful life, support yourself with wholesome food choices, reduce the amount of stimulants you use, and be sure to get plenty of nutrients that support falling asleep naturally.