Netflix – Headspace guide to sleep
In case you have been hiding under a rock, Headspace is a popular mental health app. Incorporated in 2010 – before the big meditation boom that was the 2010s – Headspace became the app to download if you wanted to learn how to switch your brain off.
Meditation is an ancient practice used to train attention and awareness. Most people fail miserably when they first start, but over time you can train your mind to switch off, and this little break can help your stress levels and the symptoms of anxiety.
Well, Headspace is branching out into other areas, and one of those is sleep.
What is the link between meditation and sleep?
Mindfulness meditation has been touted as a cure for insomnia for a long time. The theory is that our minds are busy and struggle to switch off, so we need to reset them by shutting them up, especially when we are struggling to drift off into snoozeville.
This is especially true if you incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your life on a long term basis. This is all explained in one of the episodes.
So there is a clear link between meditation and sleep, and those who are struggling to drift off might not be aware of the many positive benefits meditation can have. For that reason, Headspace has developed a series on Netflix about how to get a better night of sleep. But should you skip it or stream it? Here’s our review.
What’s the format
There are seven episodes and they’re made up of animations and a voice deliberately chosen to soothe. Every part explores a different reason we might be struggling to fall asleep, and there’s a guided meditation to try at the end.
You might want to watch this one in bed, because the narrator’s dulcet tones might achieve what you thought was impossible and send you into slumber.
The non meditation version part of each episode is ten to twelve minutes long, so it is really easy to digest, even if you’re tired.
More on the content
The first episode focuses on the biggest sleep myths, like the fact that we need 8 hours to function properly. The average is actually somewhere between seven and nine. There are loads of other interesting bits, too.
Too much sleep is bad for you, did you know that? Neither did we, but we do now. You’ll get lots of interesting snippets of information from this series, including the fact that exercising a couple of hours before bed will help you sleep, you only need to worry about caffeine after 5pm, and alcohol blocks REM sleep, which is why you feel exhausted the day after a session.
It also discusses the practical reasons we don’t sleep, like our obsession with technology.
Is it worth a watch?
Most definitely. If it doesn’t help you fall asleep, it will at least give you a better idea of what sleep is, why we need it, and how diverse our individual experiences of sleep are.
If you’re anything like us, you might have struggled to meditate before. Here at Ely, we are easily distracted by distant noises or stressful thoughts. The Headspace Guide To Sleep meditation guide contains a graphic with a house in the distance at night, with waving bushes and trees around it. It’s a calm, comforting scene, and gives you something to focus on.
The narrator, Prieto, is fairly confident that you’ll be asleep before the credits appear at the end of the episode. That’s a bold desire, but it worked on us! Don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work for you. Try to relax, follow the meditation properly, and above all else, relax. Stressing about the effectiveness of this series is not going to help you.
We know how frustrated you must be if you are struggling to sleep, so we say stream it. In fact, if you are interested in meditation and its link to sleep at all, stream this series. It’s full of really useful techniques, as well as amazing facts to help you understand the science of sleep and how you can use scientific discoveries to help you drift off and stay there.
What else can I do to help myself sleep?
You might not even realise how uncomfortable your mattress is. If you’re struggling to sleep, it could be that. If you’ve had it longer than five years, we would most certainly suggest you consider renewing it before you look at any other method of coaxing yourself into sleep, as you might have ruined your current one and subconsciously recognised that in your sleep.
Ely mattresses are made from natural materials and come with a ten year warranty. They’re durable, breathable, and naturally fire resistant. They’re also 100% recyclable.
For more information, read about our thirteen layers.