How gratitude can help you sleep

When we’re alone with our pillows in the quiet of night, we can get lost in thoughts about what’s seemingly wrong or missing in our lives. These thoughts generate negative emotions and stress hormones, which hinder the production of sleep hormones.

To put it simply – focusing on the half-empty glass keeps you awake.

On the contrary, when we feel grateful we relax, and it’s easier to enter a deep sense of peace and sleep well.

Robert Emmons is considered the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. His book titled “Thanks”, shares his findings of more than a decade of research on the effects of regularly practicing gratitude. Two of the primary benefits he discovered were; sleeping longer and feeling more refreshed upon waking.

Try this: 

As your head touches the softness of your pillow, notice how comforting it is to be in the sanctuary of your bed. Notice how your breath comes and goes all by itself and let yourself rest in the soothing rhythm of the breath.

Then, with a gentle voice, ask yourself, “What do I have right now?” Start with simple things, like a safe place to sleep, a pillow and a heart that beats continuously. Pause at each thing that comes to mind and find a feeling of gratitude. Once you’re flooded with wholehearted gratitude, you can rest assured that sleep is on its way.

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