A sleep scientist shares his 15-minute daily ritual that leads to a good night’s sleep. Following is a transcript of the video.
Daniel Barone: One of the biggest things that I believe in for myself and what I tell my patients is mindfulness meditation.
I’m Dr. Daniel Barone, a neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Mindfulness meditation is thought to just reduce the fight-or-flight response that the body is producing. So when you’re trying to fall asleep at night, the fight-or-flight response is not what you want. You want the opposite of that. You want the relaxed, what we call the parasympathetic nervous system to activate.
The way I meditate is very simple. I sit in a dark room, as quiet as I can make it. I actually use earplugs and sometimes even earphones above that. Sometimes I have music, sometimes it’s silent.
And what I do is I sit upright, my hands on my lap, my feet on the floor, and I just simply breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth with my eyes closed.
And what I’m doing is I’m focusing my attention. That’s where the term “mindfulness” comes from. I’m paying mind to my breathing.
Sometimes what I tell people to do is say, “In” and then “Out” as you’re breathing in and out. You can say that in your mind or I imagine images of air moving into my nose and out through my mouth. Whatever will help you to focus on the breathing, that’s what I recommend people to do.
I set my alarm on my phone to go off after 11, 12, 15 minutes or so and I just put that face down and then I don’t think about it. I just close my eyes and start meditating. I meditate every day.
Dr. Daniel Barone is the author of "Let’s Talk About Sleep."
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