Pathways to Sleep ID. From Health to Sleep The Mindfulness Pathways

Pathways to Sleep ID. From Health to Sleep The Mindfulness Pathways

In recent years, a substantial shifting of attention has occurred regarding what is often called: “the Mind Body Spirit Connection.” This involves the crossing of significant boundaries between psychology, biology and spirituality. It also involves a crossing of the Pacific Ocean. West is meeting East. Buddhism dances with Judaism. Psychotherapy interweaves with the practices of Yoga. Stress reduction strategies are infused with the practices of meditation. The holistic health perspectives of Vedanta India complement the healthy lifestyle perspectives that drive the formulation of integrative medical practices in North America. At the heart of the new alliances are four closely related practices: mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery and visualization. Each of these practices can serve as a valuable pathway to high quality sleep.

Attention and Sleep

There is something more that occurs with mindfulness—something that goes beyond the impact found with physical activity. The connection between our minds and our bodies is something we can instinctively feel. But how much attention do we pay to our bodily sensations from moment to moment? To truly understand our own emotional lives and those of the people around us, we need a high level of awareness. This awareness is achieved through the practice of mindfulness and the development of body intelligence.

As we have already noted attentiveness might be the key factor when it comes to the role played by mindfulness at a pathway to sleep. Specifically, with physical (and psychological) awareness comes three important outcomes that relate directly (or indirectly) to sleep quality. First, with mindfulness we are more likely to be aware of the areas of our physical body and biological functioning that need most attention. With mindfulness, we are listening to our body—and can more readily attend to the additional work that is needed. If we are healthier and our bodies are “in tune”, then we are likely to have a better night of sleep.

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About the Author

Gay TeurmanGay Teurman, Psy.D., M.F.T., is an individual and group psychotherapist, pending BCIA certification as a Neuro psychologist. Dr. Teurman currently is the Director and founder of Brain Health Clinic in East Sacramento. The Brain Health Clinic is a health psychology clinic that specializes in Traumatic brain injury, memory loss, Post traumatic stress disorder, post concussive syndrome, chronic depression/anxiety and many other conditions with holistic treatment interventions. Dr. Teurman has extensive experience in the areas of program planning and development, and the formulation of state regulations and professional mental health standards as they relate to client treatment, patient rights and client/patient confidentiality, and related ethical issues. Dr. Teurman has substantial experience in conducting clinical assessments, co-occurring disorders, clinical supervision and health psychology. She frequently makes presentations to professional audiences on various psychological issues and provides training sessions on psychological assessment and research. Dr. Teurman has broad-based experience in government system analysis and implementation of community-based legislation.

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