When you go to bed, do you struggle, even a bit, to shut your mind? Does your mind keep buzzing with things to do the next day or something else? Have you tried meditation for sleep and relaxation? Meditation has been proven helpful for people with sleep issues.
Many people aren’t aware of sleep meditation and its deep benefits. In this article, we’ll explore guided meditation before sleep, how it helps, some techniques, and other ways to get mindful sleep.
What Is Meditation for Sleep?
The mind can get caught up in thoughts, emotions for hours, sometimes days. All of these thoughts catch up at night and can disturb the mind easily. Meditation helps the mind to stay aware of the moment rather than getting lost easily. It trains the mind in such a way that takes away the excess noise or unwanted thoughts.
Studies have shown, stress is one of the major contributing factors of troubled sleep. Following a guided meditation technique can help you sleep better. It offers a natural aid to improve the quality of sleep and distressed the mind.
On the other hand, meditation before sleep lowers the heart rate, clears the mind, and allows the mind to eliminate unnecessary thoughts. While you explore different sleeping meditation techniques, you will discover new ways to cool the mind and boost your sleep.
Why Are People Not Getting Enough Sleep?
Bedtimes are pushed to 2 am but wake time hasn’t. According to a poll, around 40% of Americans get less sleep than required. Nowadays, people prefer to believe in ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ or start their night at 2 am. Most people function properly when they get an adequate amount of sleep, i.e. 7-8 hours. This habit of staying awake at night has pushed people into a sleep-deprived state. Not just lifestyle habits, but the technology addition has also been a prime reason for people not getting enough sleep.
Some of the possible reasons people do not get enough sleep could be,
Hooked on electronic devices
Sleeping for fewer hours
The modern lifestyle has many things to offer, which becomes a possible reason for sleeping less. Many people have developed a habit of pushing their sleep late due to a preferred lifestyle habit.
Busy work schedules
With the advancement of technology, needs also change. Many people keep themselves busy with 2 jobs a day. They try to squeeze in more time as they work twice as hard in just 24 hours.
Who isn’t stressed these days? Are you aware, high stress levels can also affect your sleep quality. These can result in sleep deprivation and disorders over time.
These are just a few of the major reasons why people find it difficult to sleep. Following a bedtime meditation routine could help you with your sleep disorders and give you a mindful rest.
What Does Meditation Do?
When you meditate, various physiological changes happen in the body. This helps in reducing sleep disorders considerably. Sleep problems often arise from stress, worry, and anxiety. Meditation for sleep and stress can improve the relaxation response while clearing the mind. It also helps control the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for waking up easily when you sleep.
You can consider it a mind medicine that allows your mind to concentrate deeper, limit unnecessary thoughts, and calm the mind. It is known to regulate your sleep. How? Fewer thoughts mean you have a clear unworried mind. When your mind isn’t worried about anything, you tend to sleep better.
What Are the Benefits of Sleep Meditation?
Meditation before sleeping can lower the chances of you waking up in the middle of the night or struggling to fall asleep. But there is no switch for sleeping fast. You have to include meditation in your bedtime routine. Let’s explore the benefits of including a mindful meditation routine before going to bed.
Meditation trains the mind to stay calm and invokes a relaxation response with techniques that focus on breathing and limiting thoughts. This relaxation technique helps the body to fall asleep, ensuring that sleep is a quality one.
Lowers stress levels
As known, stress is the primary reason for disturbed sleep cycles. In today’s day and age, we should focus on minimizing the stress levels as much as we can. Meditation calms the mind and promotes inner peace, and we all know, a peaceful mind sleeps better every night.
May help with depression
A study from 2015 proved that meditation improved sleep quality and reduced issues like insomnia, depression, fatigue, and lethargy. In this study, people who practiced meditation for 10-30 mins were able to reduce these issues better than those who did not practice any meditation.
No side effects
Unlike any other medications, meditation for better sleep does not have any side effects. People who practice this do not feel any ill effects or find it a waste of their time. Meditation has only proven to calm the mind for good.
It soothes the nervous system
The autonomic nervous system has two parts: the one that makes us sleep and the one that keeps us awake. We need both to function properly, and these can go out of balance due to a busy lifestyle or stressful situations. When we meditate, we balance the nervous system and reduce the sympathetic nervous system dominance. In other words, we maintain the sanity of the nervous system to help us stay balanced.
How to Meditate for Better Sleep?
Meditation has been used by many cultures for thousands of years to get better sleep. By relaxing the mind, it becomes easier to calm the thoughts.
The best part about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment. All you have to do is find a comfortable and quiet place and pick up a time. Since we are talking about bedtime meditation then, nighttime would be great.
Do you know how to meditate the right way? Making meditation a habit can be challenging. It will take some time to develop the practice of meditating daily. Till then, you should just stick to a routine.
Let’s explore the basic steps of meditation:
- Find a relaxing place. You can either lie down or choose a comfortable posture.
- Close your eyes and keep your focus on breathing. Try not to think of anything else.
- If thoughts pop up, try not to think about them.
If you are new to meditation, then you can use the help of apps or experienced trainers to help you get into a habit. As you try meditation for sleep, you need to be patient. You can start with 3-5 mins of meditation before sleeping for a week. Then, gradually increase it from 10 min meditation for sleep to 15-20 mins. Over time, you will notice a change in your sleep cycle.
Types of Meditation for Sleep
While you might be getting the hang of meditation, you might want to explore the different types of meditation techniques for insomnia.
Mindful meditation focuses on the present moment and promotes welcoming and happy thoughts. It is done by increasing the awareness of your body and consciousness. It allows you to welcome thoughts without being judgmental. This is a good practice for understanding your mind and reorganizing your thoughts.
How to practice it?
- Get rid of all distractions and lie down in a comfortable position.
- Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 10 counts. Then hold your breath for 10 counts and exhale for 10 counts. Do this five times.
- Now notice your breath and body. If any part feels tight, try to relax it.
- And if any thought enters the mind, try to avoid it or simply don’t engage with it.
Guided meditation is when someone else guides you through all the steps. They may help you to breathe, rest, or feel during the meditation or they might tell you to picture some things or visualize things.
How to practice it?
- Choose a comfortable room and lie down in a comfortable position.
- Start the process or recording and try to relax your breadths.
- Listen to the person’s voice and give yourself completely into the process.
Newbies can take the help of podcasts, recordings, websites, books, or videos to practice yoga until they get the hang of it.
Body scan meditation
In this meditation, you focus on all your body parts and try to relax them. The motto here is to increase the sensation of physical awareness in your body. This process promotes relaxation, which can help you sleep better.
How to practice it?
- Lie down in a comfortable position and remove all distractions.
- Breath slowly and notice the body weight.
- Focus on your face and relax your forehead muscles, eyes, lips, and cheeks.
- Move your neck and shoulders to relax them simultaneously.
- Slowly move down to your stomach, your legs, knees, and feet.
- This way, you relax every part of your body one by one while you concentrate on breathing.
- If your mind wanders, then bring it back to your body and try to relax it with ease.
This process allows you to focus on your body while breathing. It is another way of promoting meditation. If you find breathing difficult, then you can try this option.
Deep breathing meditation helps you to focus on your breathing. This technique engages the diaphragm while you meditate. By doing this, you clear your mind just by focusing on relaxed breaths. We know it by now, when your mind is tension-free, you are able to sleep better. This could be a deep sleep meditation process you can follow every day before going to sleep.
How to practice it?
- Lie down in a comfortable position and get rid of all the distractions.
- Focus on your breathing, breadth for 4 seconds, then hold it for 7 seconds.
- After that, release it for 8 seconds. This way, you only focus on your breathing.
Guided Sleep Meditation Techniques
There are various ways to indulge in guided sleep meditation from exploring apps to finding the right youtube channel. If you are new at this, you can probably take the help of paid or free apps, podcasts, etc. Let’s explore some of the ways through which you can get guided sleep meditation for insomnia.
Meditating through breathing is a great way to indulge in it. You can simply focus on breathing while you lie in a comfortable position. You can even listen to some podcasts that help you to focus on breathing.
One of the best ways to indulge in meditation is to imagine yourself in a beautiful and calm place. This usually helps to explore the thoughts and feelings and gets rid of the unwanted thoughts easily.
Your guide might involve you in mindful movement practices like tai chi or light stretching. This allows the body to relax properly and once you are relaxed you can sleep better.
This is like the most famous technique of falling asleep. Counting the sheep or just numbers could help you to distract your mind from other things and keep it busy. Although you might not like it, this technique could help you doze off really quickly.
What Are the Other Ways to Improve Your Sleep?
Well, there are definitely other ways to improve your sleep. If you are not a meditation type, then you can surely try other methods to improve your sleep. These methods are super easy and do not cause any side effects.
There are some other ways you can probably pick up besides meditation.
Setting a sleeping schedule
Avoiding daytime nap
Daytime naps might be the reason you find it hard to sleep during the night. If you avoid sleeping during the day, you can sleep better at night. This could also be included in your sleep routine.
Following sleep hygiene
There’s more to sleep hygiene than you can imagine. Setting proper sleeping habits will help you in the long run. All you have to do is follow sleep hygiene that suits you.
Get some exercise
It is a proven fact that exercising helps you sleep better. It regulates the body’s energy and allows the body to rest every day. If you spend your energy daily, you’ll have to recharge it, won’t you?
Hypertension can be a major factor in having disturbed sleep. Finding ways to manage your blood pressure in your daily life can make you fall asleep faster and better. The best way would be to find ways to clear your mind and focus on things that matter to you the most.
‘You are what you eat’. A healthy diet leads to a healthy body. You, too, can regulate your sleep patterns by choosing foods that help you sleep.
Can Meditation Treat Insomnia?
Meditation is known to soothe the mind and allow you to focus on what is important. Did you know that around 10% of people have long-lasting insomnia? Treating insomnia with meditation can be a good start. Most people recommend meditation to people who have insomnia.
Research shows that meditation can help reduce insomnia in people easily. Mindful meditation helps to reduce daytime sleepiness and promotes sleep quality. The main work of meditation is to lower the pressure to fall asleep.
How Often Should You Meditate for Insomnia?
Meditation is a skill that needs to be mastered. So, the more you practice it, the more benefits you can reap. Daily meditation is required to give you a good night’s sleep. You can start with daily 5-10 mins of meditation for sleep to help you out.
Unlike exercising, you don’t feel tight or sore after it, so there isn’t any reason not to practice meditation. Once you develop a habit of meditating, you can stretch it up to 45 mins a day, according to Dr. Paul Green.
Summing It Up
Now that you know the effects meditation has on your body, you should practice it daily. You can ease up your sleep by following sleep hygiene practices too. Meditation to help you sleep is proven to be beneficial in various ways, all you have to do is pick up a schedule.
If you have any other issues with meditation or feel like they aren’t working for your sleep troubles, you can get in touch with a physician for help.
Yes. Some of the sleep techniques work better when you lie down. Hence, mindful sleep meditation in bed is a great way to ease off the pressure and get a good night’s sleep.
Yes. Meditation for sleep and anxiety has proven to help lower stress levels over time. All you have to do is set a routine and follow it religiously.
Unlike exercising, meditation doesn’t leave your body sore. So if you are asking for drawbacks, then there would be none. Although finding the right meditation method can become a bit challenging for you, as everyone responds to meditation differently. Make sure you explore different techniques until you find the one that works.
Yes. Meditating music for sleep can be beneficial as some people find it easy to sleep while listening to soft music. You can find various relaxing meditation music for sleep online or you can probably Youtube them. Did you know that there is some great anxiety-reducing music that can help you sleep? Check out our blog today!