Here's Why 10 Minutes of Meditation Can Be Worth 44 Minutes of Extra Sleep
Another reason to embrace the "om"
If you haven't already heard, "mindfulness" is the buzziest buzzword in the wellness community these days—still. It's no longer the case that only New Age hippies who wear tie-dye and collect crystals can be found seated in lotus pose. In today's culture of information overload, people from all walks of life are trying to reap the benefits of meditation, which include the ability to quiet your thoughts and be more present. As an added benefit, studies have shown that meditating for just 10 minutes-a-day can help people stay focused and attentive well into old age, and can even help decrease the risk of Alzheimer's.
Now, a new study published in the Journal of Business Venturing indicates that a little meditation can have a particularly positive impact on workers who are, more often than not, also extremely stressed and sleep deprived.
Researchers asked a total of 434 entrepreneurs from around the U.S to gauge their levels of exhaustion, how many hours they slept per night, whether or not they engaged in meditation and, if so, for how long. More than 40 percent of the entrepreneurs reported working at least 50 hours per week and sleeping less than the recommended minimum of six hours per night.
Both studies found that while meditation did not necessarily have much of an impact on those who got enough sleep, it did a lot to combat perceived exhaustion in those who were sleep-deprived.
"You can't replace sleep with mindfulness exercises, but they might help compensate and provide a degree of relief," said Charles Murnieks, an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship in Oregon State University's College of Business and lead author of the study. "As little as 70 minutes a week, or 10 minutes a day, of mindfulness practice may have the same benefits as an extra 44 minutes of sleep a night."
Meditation and sleep have different effects on the human body. Whereas sleep is designed to replenish your energy levels and help you heal, meditation is designed to reduce the stressors that lead to exhaustion in the first place. So while meditation should be no means be a replacement of a good night of sleep, especially in the long term, it can help you feel more calm and need less tired during a particularly busy period. And if you're still not certain that meditating is really your thing, check out this one 15-minute activity that science says is guaranteed to clear your mind.
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