Pathways to Sleep ID. From Health to Sleep The Mindfulness Pathways
The Mindfulness Partners
The practices of mindfulness have many Mind-Body-Spirit allies. Revolutions in the field of neurobiology are now closely aligned with (and complement) a comparable revolution in the field of cognitive psychology – mind meets brain and body. We see this alliance in the brief description we offer later regarding the biopsychosocial perspective on stress-management. We also see this alliance operating in the engagement of three other human service strategies that hold the potential of being directly aligned with mindfulness practices: psychotherapy, biofeedback and (the newest of the psychologically founded strategies) neurofeedback. We will briefly touch on each of these.
Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. We have found that many health-related issues (especially those involving trauma and sustained negative stress) are best addressed with the assistance of an experienced psychotherapist. As human service professionals who often advise clients about quality of sleep, some of our best work is done when we help our client recognize that they need work with a therapist if their sleep is to improve.
Biofeedback is a technique you can use to learn to control your body’s functions, such as your heart rate. It can be of great benefit in assisting one to fall asleep. With biofeedback, one learns how to relax and prepare for many physical states (such as sleep). You’re connected to electrical sensors that help you receive information (feedback) about your body (bio). Biofeedback is an effective technique for training people to change the variability and dominant rhythms of their heart activity. This change in biological functioning is often of great value—especially in the reduction of negative stress and preparation for sleep.