A Guide on Sleep Meditation: Why It Works and How Practice It
Between 50 and 70 million adults across America experience some sort of sleep disorder. Whether temporary or chronic, these disorders can have a huge impact on your ability to get the right amount of rest. In fact, on average American adults only get 6.8 hours of sleep a night – that’s over an hour less than our bodies need to stay rested and healthy!
Missing out on sleep can have a huge impact on our health and emotional well-being, as well on the rest of our lives. But did you know that you could improve your sleeping patterns using sleep meditation?
If you’re struggling with getting proper, restful sleep at night then it’s time you got acquainted with guided sleep meditation. Want to know more? Then you’re in the right place!
Read on to find out everything you need to know about guided sleep meditation and how it could improve your life.
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What is Sleep Meditation?
Sleep meditation is a type of meditation that you can do before bed to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Meditation before sleep helps to break the routine between your day and night, leaving the stresses of daily life away from your bed.
There are plenty of exercises you can do to help sleep meditation, some of which we’ll look at later. However, the main goal is to help you reconnect with your body and take time out from the worries of your day.
Because of this, it’s important that you meditate at the same time every day and once you have finished everything you’re planning to do. Checking your emails after you’ve meditated, for example, will undo a lot of the benefits that you get from it.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at exactly what some of these benefits are.
What Are the Benefits of Sleep Meditation?
Anything that benefits your healthy sleeping patterns can have huge benefits for your body as a whole. This is because a lack of good quality sleep can have a huge impact on your life. Just a few side effects of poor sleep include:
- Poorer critical thinking skills
- Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious conditions
- Lower sex drive
- Faster aging skin
- Poorer memory skills
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Impaired judgment
Lack of sleep also slows down your reaction times and cognitive abilities, which means you can become a danger to others as well as yourself! So it really is in everyone’s interest to address poor sleeping patterns.
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Sleep meditation focuses on repairing your broken sleep cycles. This restores your circadian rhythm. Let’s take a look at just how this works.
How Does It Work?
Your body’s circadian rhythm is essentially your daily sleep cycle that stretches over a 24-hour period. This dictates when you need to sleep or rest and leaves you feeling revitalized in the day.
This is because, overnight, your circadian cycle focuses on repairing and recharging certain parts of your body. This is why taking chewable vitamins before bed can really support their restorative properties. However, if you get too little sleep, your body won’t have enough time to recharge all the parts of your body.
Sleep meditation works with your body’s circadian rhythms by relaxing your body and preparing it for sleep at the right time. This ensures that your body goes into the proper recovery mode. It also helps you to stay asleep at night so that your body has plenty of time to rest and repair.
This is why it’s important to repair your sleep meditation every night at the same time. This should be around 8 hours before you need to get up the next day.
There are various techniques that you can use for sleep meditation and you don’t have to spend long doing them. In fact, regular 10-minute sleep meditation can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep in the long run.
Most techniques for meditation focus on helping you to reconnect with your body and let go of stress and anxiety from the day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some great techniques that will help with your sleep meditation.
Releasing Energy from Your Body
Reconnecting with your body and releasing energy from it is a great way to begin your meditation for anxiety and sleep. You should start by lying in a gently-lit room and relaxing your body as a whole.
Then focus your thinking on a ‘body scan’. This involves focusing on each individual part of your body, starting with your head, and going down to your toes.
As you do this, recognize how each part of your body feels. It might feel tense or heavy, tight, or tender. Whatever the feeling is, let yourself engage with it before letting it go and moving onto the next part of your body.
This is a great way of ‘getting out of your head’ so to speak and into the rest of your body. It will leave you feeling relaxed and ready for rest.
Breathing Exercises to Help with Sleep Meditation
If you’re looking for how to meditate for sleep, one of the simplest things you can focus on is your breathing. This is a great way to rest and focus gently without thinking too hard.
Try breathing in for eight breaths and then back out for another eight and repeating this. These long breaths will help to reoxygenate your body and prepare you for rest.
This is also a great simple activity to do if you wake up in the night and are struggling to get back to sleep. Instead of turning on the light or setting up a guided meditation, focusing on your breathing can help to ease you back into sleep.
Visualization and Sleep Meditation
Visualization is a great part of meditation that lets you get out of your own head or even home. Often this comes after your ‘body scan’ and works in combination with breathing techniques.
This involves visualizing a scene that you find relaxing. Some aspects of the scene may focus on helping you to release certain tensions in your body. For example, you may visualize the tide going out and returning, or going down in an elevator.
Some visualizations will work better for you than others so it’s worth trying them out to find the best one for you. You may also find that some visualizations work better for you on one day than on another. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re finding visualization harder on a particular day, you may just have more to let go of.
Guided meditations are the easiest way to visualize without getting distracted. There are lots of great guided meditations available online and in apps.
These feature someone leading you through visualization. Often they have a very calming voice and feature relaxing music in the background.
This really helps you to get started without having to think too hard about what you’re visualizing.
Meditating is a great way to recognize the importance of your own body and prioritizing your own needs. However, you can take this further by engaging in other practices that help you to focus on the positives in your life.
After meditation, your mind will be rested and blank. This makes it the perfect time to think of something, no matter how big or small, that you are grateful for. Doing this means you will go to sleep with positive thoughts in your mind.
Some people even like to keep a gratitude journal each night to record everything that they feel grateful for.
Other Tips for Improving Your Sleep Routine
Sleep meditation is a great way to improve your nighttime routine. However, there are lots of other things you can do to help this as well. These include:
- Limiting screen time and exposure to blue lights before going to bed.
- Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
- Keeping your room cool to improve your sleep.
- Drinking plenty of water (between six and eight glass a day.)
- Wearing breathable pajamas at night.
- Installing decent blinds in your bedroom in summer.
- Minimizing the sound in your bedroom.
- Getting exercise each day so that your body is ready for rest.
- Helping yourself wake up in winter mornings by buying a light that mimics sunrise for your bedroom.
Combining all or any of these techniques will improve your sleep routine in next to no time. But keep in mind that we all have off days and stick with your routine – it’s sure to pay off!
Get a Good Night’s Sleep Tonight
Sleep meditation is a great way to help you get to sleep each night and to improve the quality of sleep that you get. You might be surprised, but such a small change to your routine can have a big impact.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a good night’s rest today using sleep meditation. And for more great tips and advice on staying healthy, keep scrolling now.