How to Use MindSpa to Gain Maximum Benefit
Sleep issues, particularly if they are chronic, can be resolved without the need for medication, which, in most cases does not resolve the underlying issues. The technology works. It is personal commitment that is the key to success.
Stay with your program of regular use for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. This can mean as little as 3-4 times per week, or as often as twice per day. It is up to you and what your life allows.
However, for at least for the first two to four weeks we do recommend daily use. A 20-30 minute session once per day in the morning or mid/late-afternoon will produce noticeable results within a month.
It is important to understand that the effect is cumulative. Think of it like you would physical exercise. We all know exercising on a regular basis will improve muscle tone and health. Exercising your mind is the same thing. MindSpa will help you to condition you to more easily enter the relaxed state of mindfulness meditation – the alpha brainwave state.
When you first begin using MindSpa, we generally suggest that you start with any of the first six sessions for the initial couple of weeks and then progress to the longer and deeper sessions, if you prefer. However, even this is not necessary in every case and you can receive the same excellent benefit from the shorter, lighter alpha sessions as long as you continue to use them regularly.
If you find, for example, Session 3 is one of your favorites, then use it as many times as you like. If you prefer to switch up the sessions, by all means please go ahead. You will tend to naturally gravitate to the sessions that are most effective for you. We do suggest a minimum of 22 minutes per session.
Which session should you use to attain a specific goal?
This is the most common question we receive. What makes MindSpa both easy to use and effective is that there is not necessarily a right or wrong session choice as each individual is unique. Using MindSpa on a regular basis is the key to success.
Please make sure you review your manual before use (manuals found here). As we explain, use MindSpa in a quiet location where you will remain undisturbed for the entire session. It is best to be situated in a comfortable chair or lying down.
Care is suggested when using at night as the white or blue led light can affect your circadian rhythms (your internal body clock sleep patterns). (Our green or red led glasses are fine for evening use.) Generally, we suggest use during the day, mid-afternoon, or early evening. Late at night, we suggest using our green led glasses, or the sound alone, especially if you notice any disruption in sleep patterns while using MindSpa in the evening.
While we do have many testimonials on our website from folks who say they have received immediate benefit, generally we suggest that you please be patient with yourself and do not expect overnight results. It can take a few weeks to change long-term stress or sleep disruption patterns. MindSpa works as we promise but think of it as part of making minor changes to your lifestyle that will result in an overall positive effect.
Our full-spectrum white and blue combination led glasses are designed for everyday use. For general, everyday use, we suggest the white leds. Use them with eyes closed. Take a few slow, deep breaths into your diaphragm instead of taking high, shallow breaths in the upper part of your lungs before and as you begin your session. Pay attention to your various muscle groups and practice letting go of physical stress.
(See our section on Reducing Stress)
Set the sound and lights to a level that is comfortable for you. The brighter you can comfortably set the lights, the better. If it causes you to blink while your eyes are closed, reduce the light level.
If you find yourself feeling like you are falling asleep during the session, this is okay. You are still getting benefit. If you come out of your “sleep” at the end of the session, you are actually in a deeply relaxed hypnotic/meditative state. You may have an initial period of feeling tired but this will quickly pass and within a few minutes you should notice feeling refreshed and more energized. If you go into a deep slumber, it is due to your overall sleep deficit.
These are the basics. You may hit a couple of plateaus where you feel like you are not progressing. Just stay with your program, you will get past these and will find you are less stressed, more alert and sleeping more soundly.
To help with sleep issues start by looking at slight adjustments to lifestyle
– Reduce caffeine intake particularly in the latter part of the day. Cease intake after 2-3PM.
– Have supper earlier in the evening
– Avoid snacks before bed
– Go to bed at the same time every night. — critical to long-term sleep health
– Create a sleep sanctuary. Keep it on the cool side and remove distractions
– Go light on alcohol as this can be a major source of sleep disruption
– Avoid bright light sources before bedtime including electronics and common room lights
There are numerous health benefits associated with regular physical activity. It is best if you can get a minimum of 45 minutes of some form of exercise each day. But avoid exercise starting about three hours before bedtime. If your busy lifestyle simply does not allow for that, or other issues come into play, even adding a walk around the block, parking a little further away from your destination, or walking up the stairs can be highly beneficial.
Additional Tips for MindSpa Use
Tip 1: Establish a routine to use MindSpa every day, such as right as you wake up in the morning or mid-afternoon.
Tip 2: Take MindSpa with you to work, school or while traveling and keep it accessible. If time is short, even a few minutes of use can be beneficial.
Tip 3: Use a cue such as an alarm on your phone to remind you to use MindSpa at that time every day until you establish a regular pattern.
Tip 4: If plan to use it for 20-30 minutes in the mornings before heading to work, set a nightly alarm reminding you to go to bed at an appropriate time to wake up with ample time for use.
Tip 5: If you use a calendar, put a check mark next to days you use MindSpa to measure your progress and to keep yourself honest about how much you have used it.
Tip 6: Keep MindSpa in plain view of at home or work, such as on your nightstand or desk. It can be easily forgotten when placed in a drawer. Keeping it where you see it increases its accessibility, which in turn will increase use.
About our CalmBlue LED's for jet lag and SADS
When best to use them
Our CalmBlue LEDs can be an aid for jet lag when traveling through multiple time zones and for those suffering from SAD -- Seasonal Affective Disorder and winter depression.
If your issue is not staying asleep but falling asleep too early in the evening, particularly for the older person, or not being able to fall asleep until late at night, blue light can help resolve this issue. In the simplest terms, if you are falling asleep too early you need to reset your body clock. Use the blue leds late in the afternoon or early evening for about 40-60 minutes with eyes closed or open.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Division of Sleep Medicine are among the leading centers for circadian research. In one recent study, researchers found that prolonged blue light during the day immediately improves performance and alertness.
For general well being and balance use one of the relaxation sessions each morning shortly after waking up for a minimum of a one-half hour, though 45 to 60 minutes is preferred. Time of year and location play an important role. If you are receiving low exposure to natural light use more often to maintain circadian balance.
For general sleep-related issues such as going to sleep and waking up early, use every morning. One-half hour to one hour per day, each day should be sufficient for most. This is known as an advanced phase response, meaning going to sleep earlier than usual.
If you are falling asleep too early and/or waking up too early, known as delayed phase response, use in the late afternoon or early evening. We do not suggest use close to bedtime as this may cause trouble falling asleep or possibly cause sleep disruption during the night. Use for 30 – 60 minutes a minimum of two to three hours before retiring to bed.
Long term changes require a use every day for a minimum of one-half to one hour in the early morning. Continue use for at least one month and preferably three to four months of regular daily dosages to experience long term benefit. We always recommend consulting a medical professional before beginning any long term program.
For common circadian-related disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) commonly called the winter blues, use early in the morning or upon awakening for a minimum of 40 – 60 minutes every day during the winter months. The melanopsin photoreceptors are active while asleep so you could put on the glasses anytime after five in the morning, go back to sleep and still receive effective benefit.
You can even put them on and go back to sleep as the melonopsin photoreceptors in your retina are effected by blue light and are affected whether we are awake or asleep. Get lots of natural light in the morning and avoid sunglasses. It is not the sun but the blue sky that is key to our circadian clock.
Read our section on Light and its Value as this can help you substantially improve sleep quality. Also, read our section on Brainwave Stimulation to have a better understanding of the principles behind MindSpa.
Below is more detailed information on sleep, stress and circadian rhythms and the role they play in our lives.
High stress levels and lack of adequate natural light are two of the major causes of sleep disruption. MindSpa is helping tens of thousands of people obtain high quality sleep by addressing these issues.
Again, we make a simple promise to you...
When used as suggested on a regular basis, we guarantee you will experience an improved quality of sleep in under 90 days or your money back.
Good quality sleep is essential to our mental health and physical well being. A lack of deep sleep can lead to reduced concentration and memory functions, mood alterations, depression and fatigue. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that sleeping less than seven and a half hours a day may be associated with a greater risk for heart disease, hypertension and other serious health-related issues.
Stress & Anxiety
Many sleep issues are stress related. When stressed, we tend to create mental loops. This is most noticeable in the quiet of the night when our inner dialog takes over. It is during these quiet periods our mind tends to get stuck on problems commonly related to finances, work, health, or relationships making quality sleep difficult to attain.
We have all experienced these high-intensity “mental loops” at different times. In the morning we wake up feeling exhausted, anxious and agitated. Stress-caused sleep disruption can result on seriously impacting our decision making abilities and our physical functioning.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports people with chronic stress report shorter sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and more daytime functioning impairments, according to new research. Conversely, daytime functioning impairments and shorter sleep duration demonstrated a predictive relationship with habitual stress complaints.
Think of brainwaves like ocean waves. They are measured on two scales; height and frequency of the waves. Normal beta brainwave activity is associated with the regular, active thinking process. When we are stressed, mental loops will cause our mind to shift to a high “beta” activity state.
As we explain on our Brainwave States section, high amplitude, fast beta brainwave activity generally reflects a state of heightened anxiety or stress accompanied by feelings of agitation and discomfort due to mental over-activity. This is associated with what is commonly known as the fight or flight state. When the high amplitude beta state is maintained for extended periods it leaves us feeling drained of energy and over time can erode our physical and emotional well-being resulting in a variety health issues.
Using MindSpa’s relaxation programs can significantly help to reduce certain undesirable high amplitude activity in just a few weeks. Many report experiencing immediate effectiveness. When you encounter common stress producing situations you will be better able to maintain an inner calmness with enhanced control of your life. Conversely, when you feel like you need a quick pick up, or when you just do not feel as mentally sharp as you would like to feel, MindSpa can help here as well.
Steps you can take to de-stress in stressful times
In our Reduce Stress and Five Elements sections we cover a series of small, simple steps you can take in addition to using MindSpa that will help you. To show you how it works, right now pay attention to your facial muscles. Find any tension spots and relax those areas. Now notice your breathing. Take a nice deep breath, and let it out.
While doing these simple body awareness exercises, you are actually generating more alpha brainwave activity. These exercises can be practiced virtually anywhere at any time to help reduce stress. The effect is magnified when used in conjunction with MindSpa on a regular basis. We want to help you incorporate these and other relaxation techniques into your daily life. You will experience a positive difference!
MindSpa for Late at Night Use
Another common question is how to use MindSpa at night. In general, we suggest avoiding use at night as the lights can disrupt circadian rhythms (red, amber or green light are okay for night use). A number of people find the lights too activating for use in the middle of the night. The question comes up, ''Then how do I use MindSpa for sleep if not at night?' Think of its use in the long-term. We are helping you reduce the root cause for insomnia by helping you train your mind to be quieter and calmer over time.
If you wish to use MindSpa at night, you can effectively use the sound alone without the lights to help you fall back asleep as an option. Just set it to any one of the relaxation sessions and allow it to run. Keep the volume low. MindSpa will automatically switch off at the end of the program.
The Power Nap Process
Another common use for MindSpa is power napping. There is a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating daily naps are a highly productive use of time promoting better health, mental alertness, creativity and problem solving, better memory and concentration, increases in worker and student efficiency, accuracy and output and helps older people lead more active lives. One recent Japanese study demonstrated student test scores markedly increased with daily naps.
In addition to various health benefits, naps have an overall positive performance impact. We highly suggest making naps using MindSpa an integral part of your daily regimen.
Sleeping and Napping
The process of taking a nap while using MindSpa is distinct from sleep. Sleeping is primarily a regenerative process following a regular, 90 minute cyclic pattern of deep, dreamless sleep to light (REM) sleep. Napping is primarily a performance-based process where you remain at the edge of consciousness in a sleep-like state for a relatively short period of time. Sleeping and napping both help to enhance information processing and learning.
A “Power Nap” is a 20 – 40 minute period of revitalization resulting in increased energy and productivity, and provides reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety. The effect is cumulative when practiced on a regular basis for providing both short and long-term benefits. A recent study by NASA’s Fatigue Countermeasures Program found that pilots who took a short nap improved their performance by 34% and their alertness by 54%.
Among the best times for power napping are when you feel a general lowering of your energy level as commonly experienced in early or mid-afternoon. Generally, one power nap during the day or early evening is quite sufficient.
Imbalances in circadian rhythms are another major cause of sleep disruption. We are light-regulated beings. A lack of proper daily light will disrupt our internal body clock. MindSpa can assist by providing the correct does of blue light for resetting rhythms when natural light in sufficient quantities is not available.
A major issue is not receiving enough beneficial light in the morning and late afternoon when it is most needed. Too many wear sunglasses as protection or for comfort. But in the morning, this effectively blocks beneficial blue sky light. It is very important to get at least 45 minutes of unfiltered natural morning light. Keep in mind that many car windows and building windows block much of this light.
Chronic overuse of sunglasses can for some create symptoms very similar to season affective disordered depression (SADS). According to research at Stanford University, MIT and Harvard, late morning and afternoon light has little or no effect on melatonin production. However, late afternoon/ early evening light is important to balance your sleep/wake cycle. Bottom line: zig you are suffering from insomnia, get as much natural light as you can in the morning especially. You will find with time an improvement in your overall sleep patterns.
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