Hi! As promised, I’m going to share my experience with you on the topic of meditation. Specifically, how this may or may not be able to help us sleep better. Which way should we meditate so it would maximize the benefits? All the important questions. There is so much info on that topic that it’s overwhelming!
I assume, you even googled it once or twice and found out tons of information about meditating. And (since you are on the Sleep Remedies website ) it’d be fair to say that you’d want to find some form or method of meditation to help sleep!
I have a very long story with practicing meditation, so I’m really really excited to give away these precious practical advices! I hope that after reading this article, you will incorporate some of them into your sleeping schedule. So let’s get started!
Meditation before sleep benefits
I think each and everyone of you have heard at least from one source, that meditation is beneficial. I wont argue with that – there are numerous posts about how it relieves stress, helps our memory and improves our wellbeing in general.
However, what does the science say about how meditating affects our sleep? Turns out that (of course) some researches have been conducted that linked meditation before going to sleep to increased REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep.
What that means is by meditating you are boosting the efficiency of your sleep! The quality of sleep does not always correlate with quantity! (I think you all know how it feels sleeping way much that you usually do – very often not refreshing to say the least). So quality of the sleep matters! And meditation can give us that!
How often did you try to fall asleep only to find out that your are remembering the stuff that happened during your day? Thinking about how you should’ve handled some important situation. Or wondering how the traffic will be tomorrow. Dozens of thoughts fly in and out of our head only to distract us from the very thing that we are lying in bed for (at least most of the time 😉 ) – falling asleep.
Well, meditation has the answer for that aswell – by meditating you will soon notice that the waterfall of thoughts would be calmer and calmer each evening. And even when you are really anxious it’d be fairly easy to just let go and fare away to the dream land. So is night meditation worth it? Absolutely!
I want to emphasize the misconceptions that some of people have about meditating. It is a hot topic after all, so of course some doubtful sources will appear here and there and say things like – meditating is hard! Or “Meditation is useless – it’s snake oil”! Lets get those out of the way so we could concentrate on the good stuff. So top 2 meditation myths are:
Meditating is hard
Name the prerequisites that you need to have for a successful meditation. Is it a degree in psychology? Spending years in a remote part of India to connect with your inner self? Being a down-to-earth person who never experiences negative emotions? No no no! The only thing that you have to do in order to gain benefits from meditating is. drum rolls Allocating 5 to 15 minutes of your time before bed! That’s it!
Well, it’d be good to be in a comfy place without major distractions, but you can do perfectly fine without insert here your perfect conception of a cozy and calm place. There is literally no wrong way to meditate! I’d say even if you are doing it wrong you are doing it right! You’ll see what I’m talking about when we get to the actual method.
Meditation is only for spiritual people
Many people stay away from meditation because they think that it contradicts their beliefs about something, or supports something that they don’t feel a part of. I just wanna say that each and every person can experience the benefits of meditation. Especially sleep meditation. Regardless of whether you consider yourself a spiritual person – it will work.
The great part is you can make your practice into anything that you want. Do you want it to be mystical and intimate with your inner self? Are you on a more practical science side? Or you are a man/woman of both worlds? I guarantee, you will enjoy night meditation!
Ok. Here are the steps that help me to fall asleep fast and feel like a boss in the morning
- Find a place where you can sit or lie down without distractions for 5 to 15 mins and turn off your phone
- Sit or lie down and close your eyes.
- Begin to notice how thought appear and disappear in your mind. Do not try to shoo them by “not thinking”. When you notice a thought, name it to yourself like “Now I’m thinking about the meeting tomorrow” or “Ok, I’m planning my car repairs” – you get the idea.
- Do that for however you feel necessary (I’d advice at least 2-3 mins)
- Shift your attention to your body. How does it feel? Are your legs tired from that workout? Is it pleasant to sit with your eyes closed? Start from the tip of your toes and “scan” your body upwards till the top of your head
- During that process, when you notice that your mind is drifting away. Continue what you did at #3 – name what you are thinking of – and continue your body “scan”
- Open your eyes
- Turn off the lights (if you haven’t before) and fall asleep.
Did you follow the steps in the last paragraph? How did it went? If things didn’t go as smoothly as you would’ve wanted to – don’t be hard on yourself! As we discussed earlier – there is no wrong way to meditate! And the great part of it – you’ll get better and better as long as you systematically practice it: aim for at least every third day.
For the best results I advice to do this sleep meditation every day – its 100% worth it and won’t take much of your precious time. Here are some additional things you can do to improve the quality of your meditation:
Search for some good deep sleep meditaiton music. For example, any ambient genre music or the sound of rain – you’ll find plenty at Youtube or your favorite music streaming service
Lighting up aroma candles can also give you a right mindset for meditating
Doing yoga or any physical exercise will make it easier for you to concentrate on your body feelings
Take a bath or shower right before meditating. Exercise ➜ Shower ➜ Meditation ➜ Going to sleep is a best recipe for a perfect nights sleep
That’s it! Simple and straightforward way of meditation to put you to sleep! If you are interested in this topic and want to further investigate into the wonderful benefits that meditation can give you.
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World By by Mark Williams and Danny Penman