Be mindful when you’re tired


Researchers have found a new way to undo some of the effects of subpar sleep.

In two studies, 434 people answered questions about how much they slept, how exhausted they felt, and whether or not they practiced mindfulness. Those who got the most shut-eye and those who were most mindful felt the least drained.


When people are tired, they tend to react automatically instead of practically to stressors like tight deadlines or packed schedules, says lead study author Charles Murnieks, Ph.D., an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Oregon State University in Corvallis. These rash responses can be physically and emotionally taxing, worsening the fatigue. Meditation and similar practices boost self-control so you can be more objective about stress, he explains. In turn, you’ll have more mental energy.


Try a guided meditation or deep breathing exercises like the 4-7-8 technique after a night of poor sleep. Murnieks and his team found doing so for 10 minutes had the same exhaustion-reducing effects as getting an extra 44 minutes of sleep did.

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