Meditation for Sleep: How Does It Help Sleep Better?
Good health begins with a healthy sleep cycle. But sometimes, it gets excessively taxing to fall asleep, let alone enjoy undisturbed and continuous sleep. Usually, this is because of stress, and here, you can embrace meditation for sleep.
Meditation is a relaxation technique that can de-stress your mind and body, offering you inner peace. And when you practice it before your bedtime, it can help combat any sleep troubles you may be facing. So, read ahead on how medication for sleep can benefit you and how to follow it for the best slumber!
What Is Meditation for Sleep?
Sleep meditation is a type of meditation that helps you get quality rest at night. It helps us overcome any stress we may be battling and makes us more aware of the present moment. It benefits those who usually get lost in their thoughts and feel restless during bedtime.
Usually, meditation for sleep is a guided experience that helps you fall asleep on your own, without using any medication or other sleeping aid. It allows you to let go and keep your focus only on your sleep, so you can let go of everything that’s taking up space in your mind and calm your senses.
While guided sleep meditation and meditation, in general, have been gaining popularity in the last decade, in India, it has been a sought-after method to aid your health for ages. The earliest mention of meditation draws back to 1500 BCE. However, many historians believe that it was practised in our country from as early as 3000 BCE. Even in our households, the older generation would always meditate first thing in the morning to ensure they have a relaxed day ahead.
What Does Meditation Do?
Guided meditation for sleep can be beneficial because it leads to several psychological changes. In a 2015 study, participants were randomly assigned meditation or sleep hygiene education for six weeks. At the end of the study, it was seen that meditation could resolve moderate sleep issues and ensure they experienced less daytime sleepiness. Also participants were able to combat insomnia symptoms as well.
As per researchers, medication can be helpful. Since most sleep problems stem from constant worry and stress. Practising meditation can help you let go of anything bothering you.
Types of Meditation for Sleep
If you are wondering how to meditate in bed, we bring you easy ways to inculcate the habit.
Yoga Nidra translates to yoga sleep, a guided meditation where you enter a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. And trying this before you sleep can be perfect for you. During the process, step-by-step relaxation techniques are involved for each part of the body, and practice it lying down on your bed. It is like mindful body scanning.
Breathing exercises are simple deep sleep meditation exercises where you work on regulating your breath. Slowly, your breath slows down, signaling the body that it is time to sleep.
Visualization is a method where you imagine a scenario while you lie down comfortably on your bed. It helps you achieve a mental state that mirrors hypnosis.
For gratitude meditation, first, lie down comfortably on your bed or sit in a relaxed position, then reflect on your day or the week. Think of all the experiences that you are grateful for. It can be one person or a series of things you are thankful for. Some of the things you can show gratitude to are;
- Every breath you take
- Your beautiful home
- Good food
- Any new opportunities
- Warm clothes
- Comfortable bed
- The sounds you hear
- Any new show you have watched
Remember, you can always start with something small and then move on to the bigger things you are grateful for. Follow this meditation to help you sleep.
One of the easy ways to meditate, without it feeling like meditation, is to count. Count from 1 to 100 or more slowly and steadily. It helps slow your mind and put an end to overwhelming thoughts. You can do this meditation in bed.
Relaxing Breath Meditation
Pranayama is a breathing exercise that can help you relax and fall asleep effortlessly. To practice this bedtime meditation;
- Comfortably sit on your bed for this meditation for better sleep. Take your right hand and rest the tip of your index and middle finger between the eyebrows.
- Now, close your right nostril with your thumb and slowly inhale via your left nostril. Then use your ring finger to close the left nostril.
- Next, release your thumb and exhale with the right nostril.
- Inhale with your right nostril and again place your thumb over it and release your breath using your left nostril. Repeat this process.
You will need a phone or a tablet for guided meditation to fall asleep. Today, you will come across several apps or YouTube videos that can help you out. Here, you are listening to someone’s soothing voice to guide you through the whole process and help you sleep. It is an easy mindfulness sleep meditation.
Benefits of Sleep Meditation
While the main advantage of sleep meditation is uninterrupted and quality sleep, let’s take a closer look at the other benefits or effects of meditation it fetches you.
Natural Stress Buster
Meditation has the power to wipe away all the stress you have accumulated throughout the day. Stress increases the levels of cortisol in the body. It is a stress hormone that activates the fight-or-flight response. Meditating regularly before you go to bed reduces the levels of stress hormones in the brain. Since meditation can manage your stress levels, it is automatically able to curb anxiety levels.
Regular sleep meditation before bed is known to thicken the pre-frontal cortex. This part of the brain is vital as it manages decision-making, increased awareness, and more functions. With regular meditation, these high-order functions become stronger.
Enhances Emotional Health And Overall Well-Being
Does meditation work? Yes. Studies show that consistent meditation can help enhance our self-view and also handle our emotions better. It can also aid an individual’s overall emotional well-being by combating conditions, such as depression.
Attention And Concentration
If you are wondering what does meditation do? Well, meditation and sleep go hand in hand as they can help elevate your attention span and concentration to a great extent. According to a study, participants followed an eight-week mindfulness meditation course. At the end of the study, the effects of meditation showed that the participants had higher levels of attention and concentration. So, when you regularly meditate before bed, it can help you have a productive day ahead!
Helps Control Pain
A study conducted by NCCIH or the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health showed that practising mindful meditation can reduce the pain your experience in the body without making use of the natural painkillers present in the body.
Helps With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In a study, ten participants practised relaxation response meditation for a year. It was seen that meditation had positive effects on IBS and reduced the symptoms of pain and bloating in participants. It was also noted that relaxation response meditation was a beneficial treatment method for people suffering from IBS.
Can Be Useful To Fight Addictions
Meditation before sleeping regularly builds mental discipline, which can help you break free from any addictions. It is because meditation enhances self-control and keeps you aware of the triggers for addictive behaviour. A study with 60 participants for the treatment of alcohol use found that transcendental meditation was beneficial for them. In three months, their alcohol craving and alcohol use went down. Any distress and stress they were experiencing also took a steep dip. Meditation can also be helpful for people who are trying to fight food cravings.
How to Meditate for Better Sleep
Meditation for sleep relaxation can be practised anywhere. You will not need special tools or equipment for meditation for sleep and anxiety. All you need is a few minutes before bedtime, and you are all set. Even a 10-minute meditation for sleep can do wonders. So let’s take a look at how to meditate for better sleep.
- Make sure you find a quiet and comfortable place. It can be your room or any other place where you find peace. While you can practice meditation, both sitting and lying down, it is better to lie down as it is before bedtime.
- You can opt for relaxing meditation music for sleep.
- Now, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Then, slowly inhale and exhale deeply.
- Your focus should only be on breathing.
- Whatever thoughts enter your mind, just let them go. Don’t concentrate on them. All you need to do is focus on your breathing.
This meditation for sleep and relaxation takes time to practice. You can start with 2-3 minutes and go from there.
Remember, consistency is the key to availing all the benefits that guided sleep meditation for insomnia has to offer . Therefore, having a routine for sleep meditation for kids and adults can be handy.
Guided Sleep Meditation Techniques
Guided meditation is one of the sleeping meditation techniques that can be useful in treating insomnia. Here, you listen to another person’s voice, who will walk you through all the steps of the meditation. All you have to do is focus on that voice and follow the instructions. Today, there are several places where you can easily find recordings of guided meditations for insomnia. They include;
- Online streaming services like Spotify
- YouTube videos
- Apps and other websites
How to do guided meditation?
The steps of guided nighttime meditation for sleep differ from source to source, but the other steps remain the same.
- Choose a recording you are comfortable with, and make sure you dim your phone before you proceed.
- To follow this meditation for sleep and stress, make sure you lie down in a comfortable position.
- Make sure you focus entirely on the other person’s voice and don’t let your mind wander.
What Are the Other Ways to Improve Your Sleep?
Some other ways to improve your sleep include;
- Have a regular sleep schedule where you enjoy a good night’s rest for at least 7-8 hours.
- Make sure you consume a well-balanced diet and enjoy a light meal before bed so you don’t feel excessively full.
- Ensure you create a restful environment. For instance, turn off the lights and ensure optimal room temperature.
- Don’t indulge in daytime naps, as they can hamper your sleep at night.
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening as it can interfere with your body’s natural circadian.
- Don’t consume caffeine too late in the day as it says in your system for up to 10 hours.
- You can take melatonin supplements for sleep after consulting your doctor.
- Opt for a relaxing warm bath or a shower before bed as it can elevate your sleep quality.
Sleep is vital for good health, and meditation can help you enjoy quality slumber. While there are different meditation techniques, choose the one that suits you best. Remember, you don’t have to meditate for hours when you start. Do it for 3-5 minutes and go from there. Lastly, be consistent. For meditation to show its magic, remain patient and practice it daily.
Can you meditate lying down?
Yes, you can practice sleep meditation lying down comfortably on your bed.
Does meditation help with anxiety?
Yes, meditation is excellent for anxiety. In one study, 47 participants were suffering from chronic pain. After eight weeks of the meditation program, there were improvements in anxiety, depression and pain.
What are the drawbacks of meditation?
Some of the drawbacks of mediation include
- It can cause anxiety attacks in some
- It may lead to an unwillingness to connect with people
- Lack of motivation
- Sleep problems in some
Meditation offers several benefits but also comes with a few drawbacks. However, this differs from one person to another. Therefore, you must see if meditation works for you or not!
Is it good to sleep with meditation music?
Yes, you can sleep with relaxing meditation music. It can help take your mind off the room’s silence or maybe your partner’s snoring. Also, meditation music is known to relax by syncing your heart rate to the music and prepping your body for a good night’s rest. However, go for soothing meditation music for sleep.
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