Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 at 7:39 am
The holidays are right around the corner, and for some, that means the excitement of gathering with friends and family and sharing stories of grace, humility, and thankfulness. For others, the holiday season can trigger anxiety, depression, and a general sense of being overwhelmed. These emotions can leave you tired and physically and emotionally drained. You may remain awake at night, unable to sleep, as anxious thoughts tumble through your head.
Ironically, the spirit of the season may be the key to helping you find peace and a good night’s sleep. Studies indicate gratitude and thankful thoughts may help contribute to more restful sleep.
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is a positive emotion associated with feelings of thankfulness and appreciation. Some people believe that gratitude is an affirmation, a feeling that good and positive things surround us. Recognizing this “goodness” in the world and acknowledging the positive aspects of our lives is one form of gratitude. It is a sense that encourages us to appreciate the little things that make us smile, the things we may overlook in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Although gratitude is crucial all year long, it takes on more significance around the holiday season.
A Grateful Heart and a Better Night’s Sleep
New studies indicate that beyond lifting our spirits, feelings of gratitude can improve the quality of a person’s sleep. One study finds that out of 400 adults, 40 percent with diagnosed sleep disorders reported improvements in their sleep after focusing on thankful and positive thoughts before bedtime. Study participants recorded falling asleep more quickly and staying asleep for extended periods.
More comprehensive sleep studies also indicate that focusing on feelings of gratitude before bed has beneficial healing effects on the body and sleep patterns. Cultivating positive thoughts helped study participants with neuromuscular disorders get longer, more refreshing sleep at night.
Taking a More Mindful Approach to Sleep
How can you harness the power of gratitude and achieve a better night’s sleep? Some simple steps will help you practice gratitude and invite positivity into your bedtime routine.
- Journal – Journaling for 15 minutes at night before sleep is a great way to focus your thoughts and list all the things you are grateful for in your life. For some people, simply thinking positive thoughts is not enough. Writing down the things they are thankful for in life forces them to zero in on positive emotions instead of potentially letting their mind wander onto other topics. Make journaling a positive experience by buying a beautiful journal or special notebook or using a colorful pen. Make journaling a fun experience, not a chore.
- Countdown to Bed – Instead of counting sheep, try counting your blessings. Every evening, count the things you are thankful for and turn them into a vital part of your bedtime routine. In your head or on a sheet of paper, list five things that make you feel grateful.
- Breathe in Gratitude – As you lay in bed, close your eyes. Next, take a deep breath. As you breathe in, think of something that makes you feel thankful. As you breathe out, release negative thoughts or feelings that pop up.
Filling your heart and mind with gratitude this season can help you get better sleep and awake refreshed and focused. Although gratitude can go a long way in helping you deal with sleep issues, conditions like sleep apnea can still make getting a full night’s sleep challenging.
Contact Us for Better Sleep
If you are still struggling to fall asleep, snore, or constantly wake up feeling tired, you may have sleep apnea and would benefit from a free consultation with a sleep apnea professional. Contact the New York better sleep team at Silent Night Therapy today at 631-983-2463 for your complimentary consultation.