Practicing mindfulness depends on sleep health

sleep health

Sleeping an additional 29 minutes each night can be the key to enhancing mindfulness, a critical resource which has advantages for everyday well-being and function performance. Mindfulness is achieved by intentionally bringing somebody’s consciousness and focus on experiences occurring at the present moment without creating an impression. Unlike previous research, new research published in Sleep Health looked at how multiple measurements of nightly sleep impact daily mindfulness, instead of simply focusing on sleep quality or duration.

The study headed by the University of South Florida found better sleep improves next-day mindfulness, which in turn, reduces sleepiness during the day. The research focused on nurses, the largest group of healthcare professionals whose need for optimal sleep and mindful attention are particularly high. Sleep problems are common in this population as a result of long shifts, lack of situational management and close proximity to life threatening health ailments. Their optimal sleep health and mindful attention are particularly significant.

“One can be awake and alert, but not necessarily mindful. Similarly, one can be tired or in low arousal but still can be mindful,” said lead author Soomi Lee, assistant professor of aging studies at USF. “Mindful attention is beyond being just being awake. It indicates attentional control and self-regulation that facilitates sensitivity and adaptive adjustment to environmental and internal cues, which are essential when providing mindful care to patients and effectively dealing with stressful situations.”

Lee and her colleagues from USF and Moffitt Cancer Center followed 61 nurses for fourteen days and analyzed multiple qualities of sleep health. They discovered that nurses’ mindful attention was higher than their usual after nights with greater sleep sufficiency, better sleep quality, reduced efficiency and longer sleep length (an extra half-hour more ). Daily mindful attention contributed to same-day sleepiness. Those with higher mindful attention were additionally 66 percent less likely to experience symptoms of sleeplessness throughout the two-week study period.

Researchers come to such conclusions by using a variety of tools to quantify just how much participants were mindful each daily minute and the way their mental states were affected by sleeping. Participants were prompted to reply daily mindfulness and sleepiness questions three times a day for two weeks using the smartphone application, RealLife Exp. Daily mindfulness was quantified from the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, which asked questions like, “I was doing something automatically, without being aware of what I was doing,” and “I was finding it difficult to stay focused on what was happening.” Participants also wore an Actiwatch Spectrum device for the same two weeks which quantified wrist motion action to measure sleep and wake patterns.

Behavioral health intervention strategy for a wider array of healthcare workers who need better sleep and mindful attention. Given the connection between mindful care and improved patient care, improving sleep in this population may offer significant benefits to patient health outcomes as well.


Categories: Health Life