A good night’s sleep is essential for optimal health, yet so many of us struggle to get the recommended hours of sleep. In a world filled with distractions and constant stimulation, sleep can often be elusive.
Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too early and not being able to get back to sleep, you know all too well how sleep deprivation and insomnia can have a serious effect on your quality of life.
Meditation is a powerful tool that can improve many aspects of our lives, and one of them is better sleep. As a meditation expert and long-time meditator, I have seen the positive effects that regular meditation can have on sleep quality. In addition to my own personal experience, one of the first things my clients report back after learning to meditate is an improvement in their sleep.
Research* has found that daily meditation can increase total sleep time, decrease sleep onset latency, and reduce awakenings in participants with insomnia.
Three ways meditation improves the quality of your sleep:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Meditation helps reduce stress, anxiety and settle an overthinking mind, which are all factors that can interfere with our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation helps to calm the mind, promoting a sense of relaxation, which can make it easier to drift off to sleep.
Deep breathing techniques and techniques to help you be present in the moment can help to slow down the heart rate and activate the relaxation response in the body, which can lead to a deeper and more restful sleep.
Regulates sleep-wake cycles
A regular meditation practice can help you establish a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Incorporating a few minutes of meditation first thing in the morning and again before sleep at night will enhance better quality sleep.
If you’re struggling with sleep issues, you may consider incorporating meditation into your daily routine. Set aside a few minutes each day to meditate, and over time, you may find that you sleep better and wake up more refreshed and energised.
Here’s a short sleep-based guided meditation to help you fall asleep:
1. Find a comfortable position in your bed.
2. Take a few deep, slow breaths and exhale fully. Feel your body starting to relax with each exhale.
3. Starting from the top of your head, imagine a warm, soothing wave of relaxation washing over you, moving down to your neck, shoulders, arms, and all the way down to your toes.
4. As you continue to breathe gently, focus on the sensation of your breath. Imagine it as a gentle, calming rhythm that guides you into a peaceful state.
5. If your mind wanders, simply bring your attention back to your breath or imagine the warm soothing wave or relaxation washing over you from the top of your head to your feet.
6. Continue to breathe deeply and allow yourself to drift off to sleep.
Remember, allow yourself to relax and don’t force yourself to sleep. Just by doing a guided sleep meditation you are putting your mind and body into a more calmer, relaxed state. Sleep will start to come naturally from this state. Sweet dreams!
To download a free sleep meditation visit https://soelae.com
National Library of Medicine – Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances