Meditation and Sleep
If you have a troubled relationship with sleep, you might want to give meditation a try. It relaxes your mind, clams your body, and when done mindfully, can improve your sleep habits.
Meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety, recharge us, and get us into a relaxed state of mind. This way, you can get to sleep quickly and sleep more deeply so you’re rested and energized the next day.
Take a look at exactly how meditation works and 2 steps to conquer evening meditation.
How Meditation Works
Meditation brings us to the present. It urges us to take our mind off whatever happened today and not worry about tomorrow. So much of our time is spent thinking about what we’re doing next or how we can fix a problem we caused yesterday. It’s no surprise we can’t fall asleep when we have so much racing around in our minds.
The purpose of meditation is to let everything go. Stop thinking about your to-do list and don’t worry about anything that’s not in your control. Bring your body into your awareness and understand how your thoughts are affecting you. By purposefully calming your own thoughts, you’re more likely to shut off your brain for the day, allowing you to fall into a deeper sleep once you’re done meditating.
Meditation also boosts melatonin, which is crucial for us to be able to fall asleep. Stress decreases melatonin in the body, and since mindful meditation reduces stress, melatonin is at an all-time high.
The two steps to evening meditation:
1. Choose a focus
After finding a quiet and comfortable spot to practice your mediation, you need to choose a focus. This can be anything from your own breath, to a calming word, or a mental or physical picture. You can even count up and back down from one hundred or create your own positive mantra. Make sure your focus is calming and pleasing to the mind. The point of choosing a focus is to prevent your mind from drifting to everyday thoughts and worries.
Our minds are constantly on overdrive, so it’s important we give them something to zone in on so they don’t stray. Do your best to stick to your focus throughout your mediation.
2. Calm you mind and relax fully
Once you’ve chosen your focus, center your mind on it. It’s natural for your thoughts to drift, and if you notice they do, consciously bring your mind back to your focus. Don’t hang on to the thoughts and don’t get upset with yourself for letting your mind slip away. Acknowledge the thoughts and let them gently move away from your mind.
Allow your body to relax and make sure your breath is strong and deep. Your breath is one of the most important parts of meditation, allowing you to take in fresh air and breathe out toxins. Mindful breathing reduces stress and anxiety, and after practicing your breath with mediation, it will become natural in your day to day life, and especially before bed.
Have you tried mediation for sleep? Let us know your thoughts!