Meditation for sleep is a popular practice for improving sleep and a trending one too. Practicing sleep meditation helps to increase the production of the melatonin hormone. It is released by the pineal gland and helps to reset your body’s biological clock. Thus helping you to sleep better.
In this article, you’ll learn about sleep meditation and how to meditate to improve your sleeping pattern.
Sleep meditation is a form of meditation to calm your mind and relax your body before going to bed. It helps to let go of your worrying thoughts and develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
Sleep is an important aspect of our lives. A good night’s sleep takes care of your everyday tension and stress. Your body gets much-needed rest and you’re all set to face another harsh day.
Unfortunately, sleep has become a luxury and not everyone can afford it. Not even the Billionaires with all the riches in the world can afford a good night’s sleep. They may afford all the essentials needed for quality sleep such as:
- pajamas made with the finest silk,
- the comfiest bed,
- soothing ambiance,
- distraction-free space,
- temperature controlling devices, etc.
But that does not guarantee quality sleep because sleep has nothing to do with what you own and what you don’t. It is more of a psychological aspect and less physical.
An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from insomnia, half of which are chronic in nature. Another 43 million suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and at least 1 in 5 American adults suffers from sleep apnea.
Practicing sleep meditation at night has been linked to improved sleep quality. It helps to lower your heartbeat rate as well as lower your blood pressure level. It is also helpful in developing a good sleep pattern.
One study found that practicing sleep meditation helps to increase the melatonin hormone. The melatonin hormone has long been associated to control the body’s sleep-wake cycle. It also helps to lower the heartbeat rate and regulate the body’s temperature.
Sleep meditation involves mindfully diverting your focusing away from your thoughts. Doing so helps to quiet your distracted mind and achieve quality sleep. It is thus useful in treating sleeping difficulties and sleeping disorders.
Guided Sleep Meditation Steps
The problem of too little sleep is as big as it gets. But most of the sleep-related problems can be addressed with sleep meditation.
Guided sleep meditation can promote healthy sleep in people with insomnia symptoms. It helps people with sleeping disorders enjoy deep sleep once again.
The positive side of practicing meditation for sleep is that you do not force yourself to go to sleep. You rather develop a healthy sleeping pattern as a side effect of practicing meditation instead.
Here is a step-wise guide on how to meditate for deep sleep.
Step 1: A quiet setting. Find a quiet place with low lighting to practice meditation to improve the quality of your sleep. Lack of distractions makes it easier for you to maintain focus the entire time you meditate.
Step 2: Relax your body and settle down. Try loosening up your entire body starting from your shoulders. Rest your hands gently over your knees and form an erect posture with your body.
Step 3: Set a timer. For starters, try setting your clock timer to 10 minutes. Studies have found that 10 minutes of meditation daily helps to reset your body’s inner clock.
Step 4: Redirect your attention from your thoughts and focus on your bodily sensations. Mindfully direct your attention to your bodily sensations such as breathing. Doing so will help to calm your mind from being distracted away by worrying thoughts.
Step 5: Take a tour of your body. Once your mind is at ease, take a detailed tour of your entire body from head to toe starting from your head. Make sure your mind visits all your body parts one at a time. In the meantime, take a deep breath to help relax your muscles. Stop only when your mind has visited your entire body or once the time runs out.
Step 6: Conclude your session. Return back to your present self and you’re done for the day.
Try listening to guided sleep audiobooks for better results. Here’s a link to free audio recordings to enhance your guided meditation practice.
Note: While meditating for sleep at night, choose a position befitting your need i.e. lie down on your bed with your eyes closed.
Deep Sleep Meditation Techniques
Want to sleep like a newborn child again? Well, it practically impossible to sleep up to 18 hours a day once you’ve grown old. But you surely can improve the quality of your sleep by practicing deep sleep meditation.
Here are four of the best deep sleep meditation techniques to help you sleep deeply.
1. Body Scan. When you divert your focus away from your thoughts and towards your bodily sensations it is called the “body scan.” It is one of the most widely used deep sleep meditations to treat insomnia symptoms.
While practicing body scan, you bring awareness to your body as you inhale and exhale. Try and feel the sensations such as touch and pressure where your body is in contact with the floor or seat.
2. Lovingkindness (Gratitude). Gratitude is another deep sleep meditation that you can practice to improve your sleep. In this form of meditation, you show loving-kindness to yourself and the people around you.
You start by blessing yourself first and expand wishing good fortune and health for people around you. When you wish good health and good fortune for everyone, you’ll feel good inside. All those ill enmities and greedy thoughts will leave your mind and your mind will be at peace.
3. Sleep Hypnosis (Visualization). Visualization meditation is the perfect combination of meditation with visualization techniques. It is more effective in relaxing your mind by imagining a calm and peaceful scene in your mind.
When you practice visualization on top of meditation, it enhances your regular meditation. The effects of visualization help your mind reach a trance-like state like hypnosis.
Here’s a sleep hypnosis meditation from Lina Gracia to help overcome emotional trauma.
4. Breathing Exercise.
It is one of the simplest mindfulness exercises that you can practice anywhere and anytime. Breathing exercises allow you to reach mindfulness by focusing on your breathing.
You can either count as you breathe in and out. Or feel the sensation of the air going in through your nostrils and into the body and out of your nose. Doing so helps to relieve stress and promote healthy sleep.
Best Sleep meditation apps
Here are six of the best sleep meditation apps of 2021. Simply click on the image(for iOS users) or tap on the link given below to download the app.
1. Insight Timer.
User Rating: 4.9 Stars
User Rating: 4.7 Stars
3. Relax & Sleep Well.
User Rating: 4.7 Stars
4. Meditation & Relaxation.
User Rating: 4.7 Stars
User Rating: 4.5 Stars
User Rating: 4 Stars
Activities that Support Sleep
Some activities can promote healthy sleep when practiced along with guided sleep meditation. These activities include:
1. A 30-minute moderate workout session daily. Studies suggest that physical exercises improves sleep quality in adults by reducing sleep onset. Additioally, your body gets tired after exercising for a healthy period. So you fall asleep as soon as you go to bed.
2. Gardening. According to sleep experts, gardening practice helps to improve your sleep quality. Gardening is a moderate exercise that helps to blow up steam and promotes relaxation.
3. Evening walks. Taking a stroll in the garden or backyard after dinner improves digestion. Going for evening walks also improves blood circulation and promotes healthy sleep.
4. Night showers. Experts believe that showering at night 60 to 90 minutes before going to bed can help you sleep better. Night shower helps to relieve tension and stress. It helps to wash all the toxins and sweat from your skin thus improving your mood. It also helps to regulate your blood pressure and body temperature.
15 Minutes Guided Sleep Meditation for Kids
Here’s a guided sleep meditation audio with sound effects to aid your kids sleep.