23 Feb Meditate To Sleep Better and Fight Insomnia!
When you crawl under the covers and face life-changing decisions or thoughts being made at 3 am, you know the next day is ruined! That’s why it’s important to meditate to sleep better! And if you are thinking you can catch up to it in the morning- Stop! It’s going to make you feel lousy and energy drained.
The lack of sleep actually affects millions of Americans, but not anymore, at least not you! And here is why you are going to break away from an unhealthy sleep pattern:
In a study which included 49 middle-aged and older adults who had trouble sleeping. Half completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught them meditation and other exercises designed to help them focus on “moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions.” The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits.
Both groups met six times, once a week for two hours. Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions.
This study clearly shows that if one had to choose between sleep education and mindfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation will always win! Mindfulness meditation is the focusing of your breath and then bringing awareness to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. It helps in breaking the train of everyday thought and aids to slide into a relaxed sleep.
Try to practise mindfulness meditation on a daily basis, for at least 20 minutes. It is recommended that you do it at the same time every day, for a better sleep experience as the consistency will train the body to fall asleep the same time everyday.
This is what I do to have a good night’s rest:
Firstly, I choose a calming focus: This could range from positive affirmations, or a phrase like ” I am breathing in calm, I am breathing out tension”; “I am relaxed”, or a relaxing sound. If you choose a sound, repeat silently as you inhale or exhale. It doesn’t have to be fancy, for example: what I have chosen to do is to talk to my brain and say ” It’s time to stop thinking, let’s go to sleep now”. I know it sounds silly, but it works! It might take a couple of repetitions but it gets the job done. Similarly, chose whatever works best for you.
Then, I let go and relax: Don’t worry about how you’re doing. Whenever my mind begins to wander, I gently bring the focus back to sleep, with a deep breath.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.