We are constantly connected.
It’s making it more difficult to turn off our minds before bed. More difficult to restore our eyes and minds after a full day of spreadsheets at work and Netflix at night.
Simply put, our eyes and minds are overtaxed. Many of us are over-worked, over-tired, and are over-using screens, making it hard to unwind and relax.
Even just two hours of screen use can lead to a range of symptoms, collectively known as ‘digital eye strain’. These include itchy, burning, or red eyes; head and neck pain; and fatigue .
Moreover, digital strain symptoms -- such as the kind seen after heavy screen use -- are associated with poor mental health conditions, especially mood, anxiety, and depression [2-6].
Our typical nighttime routines are no longer as effective, because we’re constantly engaged with our devices until the moment we fall asleep – straining our eyes, delaying our sleep, and disquieting our minds.
As a result, it’s more important than ever to be intentional about how we rest. Daily deep rest habits, like yoga-nidrā, boost sleep, stress, health and wellness.
Yoga-nidrā is the ability to enter a very deep, non-REM sleep stage, but yet still maintain awareness both internally and of the surrounding environment .
Yoga-nidrā is different from traditional meditation because it is practiced lying down, fully awake in the state of being between sleep and consciousness.
The intentional rest pose – lying down – is one of the motivations behind REST’s design. We want users to truly disengage and take a moment for themselves, either reclined or fully lying down.
Traditionally, yoga-nidrā can be practiced using an audio recording, or in a class. REST was developed to help digital device users rest both their eyes and their minds with a science-based sensory experience through thermoregulation and breath awareness.
The human body can detect changes in temperature smaller than 0.1°C . We’ve synchronized REST’s vibrational and thermal sensations to heighten your sensory awareness throughout each session. We call this sensory-guided meditation (with no previous training required) Thermal Meditation™.
Slow, paced breathing can be sleep promoting , and relaxing [10-12].
One particularly effective type of deep breathing is known as “resonance frequency breathing”.
Resonance frequency breathing is when your breathing rate and heart rate become synchronized. Typically this happens around 6 breaths per minute. Doing this increases the activity of your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps with "rest and digest" functions [10-12].
We can roughly measure parasympathetic nervous system activation by looking at heart rate variability (HRV). Increasing your HRV (e.g., by deep breathing) better equips you to respond to stress. This is one of the key ways deep breathing can help you de-stress [10-12].
Resonance frequency breathing can improve mood, lower blood pressure, and even lower anxiety [11,13].
In fact, deep breathing can even increase tear production .
By matching your breathing to the multi-sensory prompts of REST, you can experience a whole-body relaxation effect. This can lower stress, increase pleasant feelings, and help you get to sleep [9-12].
In essence, REST acts as a guide to habitual yoga-nidrā practice. A regular habit for optimizing your wellness, from your eyes to your sleep.