Struggling With Mindfulness? You Might Just Need More Sleep

In this study, researchers tracked the sleep patterns and the degrees of mindfulness of 61 nurses for two weeks, looking for any connections or correlations between the two.

Mindfulness, which the Oxford dictionary defines as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations,” can be tough to track. So in this study, researchers relied on self-reported data, asking the nurses to rate their daily mindful attention multiple times a day. They then compared this to their sleep-wake patterns, as recorded by a smartwatch.

“One can be awake and alert but not necessarily mindful,” lead study author Soomi Lee, Ph.D., explains in a news release. “Similarly, one can be tired or in low arousal but still can be mindful.” In other words, it isn’t necessarily a given that more sleep would equate to more mindfulness.

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