Improve Your Sleep Through Meditation

Improve Your Sleep Through Meditation

Meditation is an excellent practice that can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep. You may also find that meditation helps you feel more refreshed with fewer hours of slumber. The following practices will encourage better sleep and bring you more energy.
A young woman sitting in a yoga pose on bed

Practices to Do Anytime

  1. Breathe deeply. Breathing fully from your abdomen gets more oxygen to your brain. You’ll have more energy all day long and feel more relaxed when night falls.
  2. Scan your body. Get in the habit of paying attention to your body. When you notice an ache or pain, you can adjust your position or talk with your doctor so small discomforts are treated before they build up and interfere with your sleep.
  3. Become more mindful. Focusing on the present moment will help to keep you calm and happy. Studies show that multitasking may erode your concentration and create stress that can contribute to insomnia.
  4. Let go of judgments. Meditation also helps to develop a mind free from judgment. Learn to observe your thoughts and reduce negative self-talk.
  5. Identify obstacles. If some thoughts recur as you meditate, they could be trying to tell you something. Those nagging resentments or fears may be issues you need to resolve so you can live and sleep better.
  6. Try Yoga or Tai chi. Exercises like Yoga or Tai chi are especially helpful when you approach them as a mental discipline as well as a physical workout. These movements and poses encourage deep breathing, stress reduction and enhanced concentration.
  7. Use meditation to complement sleep. People who go on prolonged retreats are sometimes surprised that meditating all day may dramatically reduce their need for sleep at night. Proceed at your own pace to find the right combination of sleep and meditation for you. You may someday find that your body requires less sleep as you meditate more.

Practices To Do at Bedtime and Upon Waking

  1. Limit your screen time. Meditation works wonders but any activity that gets you away from the TV or the internet will help you fall asleep. Studies show that many Americans are suffering from sleep problems because of the mental stimulation and looking at a brightly lit screen just before retiring. Turn all your devices off at least an hour before bed.
  2. Create a quiet setting. Silence is conducive to both meditation and sleep. Now that you’ve got the TV off, put your phone away too. Decorate your bedroom with an emphasis on restful colors and soft textures.
  3. Take the pressure off. Getting anxious about falling asleep is enough to keep you up at night. By shifting your attention to more constructive activities, you’ll dispel these tensions.
  4. Use guided imagery or phrases. While you may try to avoid mental sinking during your regular meditation practice, you can adapt some of the concepts to use when you’re going to sleep. Select any soothing image or thought and allow your mind to become fully engaged with it. You might think about a still lake or a line of poetry or prayer.
    • If you wake up after falling asleep, return your mind to your object of meditation. At first, you may still wake up during the night. If so, return your thoughts to the image or idea you used to help fall asleep.
  5. Wake up more gently. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day so you can wake up naturally without using an alarm clock. Easing your mind awake gradually will enable you to hold onto the pleasant sensations you experienced overnight.

Meditation is a safe and effective method for alleviating insomnia. These techniques will help you enjoy deep and restful sleep.

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