Sleep Your way to Success with Mindfulness Mediation

Sleep your way to success with Mindfulness Meditation.

Mindfulness Stretch 2

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Or, perhaps you nod off quickly and wake up sometime during the small hours of the morning and cannot return to peaceful slumber – the mind racing with thoughts, planning the mountain of tasks to address the next day, anticipating scenarios that may never happen or ruminating over how you could have managed today's situation differently.

Sound familiar? Help is at hand – and seriously easy help too! In fact, it's as easy as taking a breath and paying attention to it, and it's called mindfulness. Many studies have proven that mindfulness meditation improves sleep, and below are effective ways to bring mindfulness into your day to support you in drifting off to sleep in no time.

But first, know that you are not alone. According to Dr Cynthia Gross at the University of Minnesota, about one in ten adults have insomnia, contributing to poor concentration, low productivity and increased depression and anxiety. As a business owner, missing out on restful sleep also decreases alertness. As a result, you're less brave and open to future and prospective opportunities.

A restful night's sleep has the opposite effect. Waking up fully charged leads to increased optimism, alertness, productivity, and concentration, all contributing to your confidence to take the lead on a productive day and make optimum decisions.

Firstly, in the name of wellbeing, here are some tips to support your sleep routine.

  1. Turn off Screen time – The bright light from our devices suppresses melatonin production (our hormone responsible for sleep regulation). Also, although night-time mode reduces blue light on devices somewhat, it won't reduce the stimulating effect reading an email has on your brain. Therefore, sleep experts recommend turning off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  2. Create a bedtime routine – We are creatures of habit and love our patterns. Having regular routines tells our brain what happens next, allowing it to relax and ease into the calm, especially at bedtime. Experts recommend starting your self-care routine up to one hour before bedtime. This includes brushing your teeth, washing your face and turning down the dial to relaxing activities like reading, yoga stretches, meditating or a gratitude practice (writing in your gratitude journal) before lights out. I recommend beginning your mindfulness practice here, from brushing your teeth to feeling the pages on the book/journal in your hands to being fully present in your body while practising meditation. In this way, you develop new, healthy habits that prime your brain to prepare for peaceful rest and slumber.
  3. Give your body little to do. For example, refrain from working out late at night because doing so stimulates the body and brain. Similarly, refrain from eating before bedtime to avoid telling your digestive system to get busy. Of course, we all know that other stimulants like caffeine are a no-go. However, experts recommend refraining from tea/coffee as early as 2 pm to support a restful night's sleep.

These practices tell the brain that it's time to sleep, and the brain will believe what you do every time. But what happens if you are prone to those racing thoughts that distract the mind and keep you awake? When thoughts cascade and create gravitational rabbit holes taking you far away from the prepared slumber state of moments before?

A Meditative Breathing Practice

The short answer is that you rest your attention on your breathing.

Here’s a simple yet highly effective practice to follow.

  1. Allow your body to settle into bed and acknowledge the intention to fall asleep.
  2. Turn your attention to your breathing. Follow the in-breath. Follow the out-breath. Noticing the rise and fall of your abdomen or the cool breath entering the nostrils, and then the warmer breath leaving as you exhale. Then, repeat and continue to repeat.
  3. Undoubtedly at first, your mind will wander, and when it does, bring your attention back to the breath. Focus on the in-breath, and then the out-breath.
  4. Each time your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath and continue steps 2 and 3.

If you would like guided mindfulness meditation to support your drifting into a restful sleep, Jon Kabat-Zinn's body scan meditation is a powerful mindfulness practice. Alternatively, the Calm and Headspace apps use guided imagery to help you drift into slumber. 

The body scan Meditation for Sleep by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Lastly, Let it Go

Have you ever noticed that the more you try to get to sleep, the more you toss and turn? Only to find yourself wide awake, still trying to get to sleep? Let it go and let it be. Instead, let your body become heavy, sink into the mattress, and return to your breathing. Being present allows your body and brain to respond to the state of now, and soon enough, you drift off to where you aspire to be.

I hope this article helps you create a healthy sleep routine and consequentially supports you to embody the fullest version of yourself and grow your business. So do let me know your thoughts and how your sleep routine improves.

Additionally, if there is a topic that you would like addressed, from procrastination to impostor syndrome, let me know, and I will share ways positive psychology and mindfulness can help you increase your wellbeing, performance and success.


Hilary Connor,

Mindfulness-Based Wellbeing Coach.

Awarded Mindfulness Coach of the Year, 2022,

The Irish Enterprise Awards

(+353) 0868494646

PG Cert Mindfulness-Based Wellbeing. HDip in Coaching Psychology/Adv Dip in Executive Coaching with Neuroscience.