HappinessHeart HealthWellbeing

The Connection Between Sleep & HeartMath

Three questions to ask that can boost your heart health. 

 

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  Carl Jung 

 

During American Heart Month, I thought it would be relevant to discuss HeartMath.

HeartMath is an organization that was founded nearly 30 years ago by Doc Childre. The organization has developed a system to help people understand the connection between heart and mind more intimately.

The HeartMath system uses science and technology to make people more aware of their own emotions and behaviours. As a result, individuals can self-regulate better and actually reduce stress, increase emotional strength, and make better decisions.

More than 300 studies have validated the power of the HeartMath system. Individuals and coaches both use HeartMath techniques to improve their personal lives and the lives of those around them. The organization makes it clear that HeartMath practices are differentiated from meditation and mindfulness techniques, though the two concepts often benefit one another.

 

Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.   Mahatma Gandhi 

 

HeartMath also sells several products to help people understand the connection between their thoughts and their heart patterns. People can learn to shift their heart rhythms to facilitate clear thinking and emotional stability.

What I love about HeartMath is that the organization also understands the importance of sleep in maximizing health. You can’t talk about managing stress or building emotional resilience without discussing how sleep fits into the equation! Let’s dive into both areas and highlight just how connected all of these areas are in our lives.

 

Stress management

Anxiety and stress are at all-time highs in our busy, always-on world. Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. struggles with some type of anxiety disorder. Anxiety increases our chances of developing other physical and mental problems down the road.

It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety to have trouble sleeping. It can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep when our hearts are beating fast and our minds are running through everything that we have to do the next day. Anxiety can create a downward spiral in which we can’t sleep because we’re stressed, and we’re stressed because we don’t sleep well.

To manage stress well, we have to practice good sleep hygiene consistently and become more aware of our physical reactions to stress. By coming HeartMath’s practices with healthy sleep, we can reduce our anxiety and the negative impact that it has on so many areas of our lives.

 

At the end of the day, sleep is a barometer of your emotional health.  Mehmet Oz 

 

Emotional health 

I’ve touched on the relationship between sleep and emotional health before. The two are closely intertwined. When we don’t sleep well, we lose control over our emotions, feelings, and moods. We become emotionally reactive, absorbing and responding to circumstances in unhealthy ways.

Our sleep-deprived selves can’t be trusted with emotionally difficult situations. We can quickly feel bad about ourselves, thus making it harder to respond with strength when we need it most.

Again, a downward spiral! Check out my ‘Braking Bad’ analogy in my Happiness Playshop!

HeartMath helps people visualize their emotional reactions. They can see how their heart rates change in real-time in various situations. As a result, people can learn how to control their hearts, as well as their emotional responses.

 

One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” Friedrich Nietzsche 

 

Key takeaways 

When it comes to dealing with stress and emotional health, you must find support that helps you understand the holistic nature of your being.

Mind, body, and spirit are all one. Every part of who we are is interlaced with all other parts of our being. HeartMath understands this reality. They’ve developed powerful strategies, technologies, and techniques to help people learn how their minds and hearts are tied together.

At goodlifesleep, we also treat the whole person. We focus on sleep because we know how important it is for supporting our health in every way. Learn more at our upcoming webinar, the Secret of Sleep starting March 4.

 

Asking questions is the first way to begin change.” Kubra Sait 

 

Here are three specific questions for you this week:

 

  1. Do you know when you’re stressed? 

For many people, it’s hard to diagnose and control stress in the moment. We can lose ourselves in our anxiety and become lesser versions of who we are at our healthiest.

Learn to develop an awareness of when you’re stressed so that you can manage it better. Establish specific techniques or practices that you engage in as soon as you realize you’re spiralling down. Doing so will help you reset and resist the intellectual baggage that comes with thinking under duress.

 

2. Do you know when you’re stressed?

This question may be strange to some of you. Typically, we talk about health in terms of physical wellness. But healthy and unhealthy can also describe our emotional state.

Take time this week to reflect on this question and come to an answer. If you find that you may not be emotionally healthy right now, don’t panic. Instead, Start with Sleep. (hint, hint it’s the name of our new online course coming) Get a few good nights of restorative rest before you begin to treat the larger issue if there is one.

 

3. Do you feel emotionally healthy?

It’s easy for us to think that our hearts and minds are two separate entities, each with unrelated responsibilities. As HeartMath helps people understand, there is a two-way street between what we think and how our hearts respond physically.

During American Heart Month, focus on becoming more aware of this connection so that you can optimize it! Gaining mastery over your thoughts and feelings can have a tremendously positive impact on your life.

 

“In nature, we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

 

Want to learn more about how I can help you with sleep?  Sign up for our The Secret of Sleep webinars next week and let’s chat!

 FREE Master Class webinar-1 of 4 Mar 4th: Click the link below to claim your spot:

https://webinar.getresponse.com/SaraO/the-secret-of-sleep-mar-4th 

FREE  Master Class webinar-2 of 4 Mar 5th: Click the link below to claim your spot:

https://webinar.getresponse.com/SaraO/the-secret-of-sleep-mar-5th