As our lives become more and more technology dependent and the lines between day and night blur with rising 24/7 culture, can help us switch off at night and get a good sleep. Evidence suggests we need at least six hours of sleep to aid brain function and our ability to learn as well as to prevent obesity, diabetes and many mental health problems.
Electronic devices from late night television to your phone before bed have been shown to suppress melatonin levels which are vital to a healthy night’s sleep. Melatonin is the hormone that controls the day-night cycle of the body and the body clock. If melatonin levels are too low, the body may be unable to “switch off” at night.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre found that people who meditate have significantly higher levels of this hormone and in a separate study, those who meditated were found to have, on average, 98% more melatonin in their system. Although it is not understood how, it is clear that meditation stimulates the pineal gland responsible for melatonin production.
Sometimes the day’s events may run through your head and you find yourself unable to sleep too. The increase in melatonin can help with this but the act of meditation itself, of clearing your mind before bed, will significantly reduce the distractions in your mind allowing for a healthy night of restorative sleep and waking up to a new, happier, healthier you.