It’s 4am, and you haven’t gotten so much as a wink of sleep. The only significant thing you’ve done is watch the clock and count the hours you have left before you need to tackle your day. Insomnia can be debilitating for the mind and body. The good news is sleep meditation can help you fight it.
Over time, prolonged sleep deprivation can have a devastating short-term and long-term impact on your health. But to overcome insomnia, it’s essential to adopt healthy sleep hygiene habits and make relaxation a priority — one way to unwind before bedtime is by meditating.
Sleep meditation is a relaxation technique that can help you fall asleep faster and improve overall sleep quality. Practicing mindfulness can also reduce stress and anxiety, making it an effective method for keeping worrisome thoughts at bay. Researchers have also verified the positive impact of sleep meditation on insomnia.
A 2015 study surveyed two groups of participants that had trouble sleeping. One group was asked to meditate before bed for six weeks, while the other was told to follow healthy sleep hygiene habits. At the end of the study, the meditation group reported fewer insomnia symptoms and less daytime exhaustion.
Here’s everything you need to know about sleep meditation to fight insomnia once and for all.
How To Meditate For Sleep
The best time of day to meditate, especially if you’re struggling with insomnia, is right before bedtime so that you can fall asleep immediately after. Much like your bedroom, make sure you’re also comfortable. Slip into your favorite pair of pajamas and find a comfortable position. You can either sit down or get cozy under the covers.
While you’re getting started, try taking a few deep breaths for a couple of seconds to clear your mind and prep for relaxation.
To make the most of your sleep meditation, it’s essential to optimize your bedroom by creating a serene and calm environment. Set up your space with the most comfortable mattress to ensure you lock in a good night’s sleep. A hybrid mattress is typically a good choice because it provides you with the perfect level of support and comfort.
Types Of Bedtime Meditations
Sleep meditation comes in many forms, so try your hand at a few variations until you find the one that works best for you. Here are some bedtime meditation techniques you can try.
1. Relaxing Body Scan
If you experience any stiffness in your body that makes it difficult to fall asleep, a relaxing body scan might help.
The body scan is a relaxation technique where you focus on every part of your body. Start with your head, then your arms, then make your way down until you reach your toes. To help you doze off even faster, make a conscious effort to relax every part of your body as you continue to observe it.
2. Listen To Sleep Meditation Music
Meditation requires focus, which may be challenging after a tiring day when all you want to do is sleep. This is where music comes in.
Soothing music can help you sleep by reducing stress and making you feel more at ease. A plethora of meditation music playlists are available on YouTube, so consider experimenting with a few until you find one that works for you.
3. Visualize Something Relaxing
When you’re stressed, the best way to combat anxieties is with a relaxing visualization. Lie in bed and try to picture a scene that puts you at ease.
You could imagine being by a serene lake, surrounded by mountains, or watching waterfalls. Sample a few different visualizations when you’re going to bed until you can settle on one that calms your nerves.
4. Mindful Breathing
The mindful breathing technique may take some time to master, especially if you’re new to sleep meditation, but it’s a simple way to fall back asleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.
To practice this technique, simply focus on your breath and pay extra attention to each inhale and exhale. Try to clear your mind and only think about your breath. If you find your mind wandering, refocus your attention back to your breath until your head is clear of thoughts and you’re in a completely relaxed state. In case you’re unable to clear your mind, an easier alternative is counting your breaths.
5. Self-Compassion Meditation
It can be challenging to fall asleep, especially when your mind is being plagued by negative thoughts. In such instances, try practicing self-compassion meditation. Allow yourself some time to listen to how you’re feeling. If you’re getting upset as you go through the emotions, show yourself some compassion until you feel the negativity fizzing out.
Trying sleep meditation before bedtime can be beneficial for fighting insomnia. Since there are several different techniques, try a few until you find one that works the best for you. Just be sure to stay consistent to reap the benefits.