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Bedtime meditation could be the answer if concerns about your health, finances, or other issues are keeping you up. Mindfulness practices can increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. Learn how to make bedtime meditation work for you.
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Even if you’re careful about sticking to a regular bedtime, you may need to do more than that to get a restful night’s sleep. Keep in mind that even if you are laying down and you become very still, your mind may be racing around like a six-month-old kitten in a ribbon factory.
Meditation is a tested and proven practice that can assist you in getting to sleep faster and can allow a deeper and more restful night. It is possible to feel even more refreshed with meditation and get fewer hours of sleep. Check out the bedtime meditation techniques below for better sleep and increased energy.
Is meditating before bedtime a good idea? Yes, it helps to calm your mind and to get your body ready for a full night’s rest by calming down the nervous system.
What happens when you perform a bedtime meditation is that your parasympathetic nervous system response is activated which helps both your mind and body to relax and wind down. This allows your body to move into the very important sleep cycles that will result in a deep and restful sleep.
Preparing for Bedtime Meditation
Create an environment and mindset conducive to contemplation. Preparing for bedtime meditation is similar to preparing for sleep in many ways.
Doing these activities will help you wind down:
1. Slow down. If you’ve been rushing around much of the day, relax and quiet your mind. Put aside stressful subjects and tasks. Read a book or work on a soothing hobby.
2. Turn off devices. Bright screens and action movies stimulate your brain, making it harder to fall asleep. Power down your phone and computer.
3. Block out the noise. What about noisy neighbors and car alarms? Turn on a fan or put in your earplugs.
4. Eat light. Heavy meals and spicy food can also make it difficult to drift off. If you need a snack, make it small and nutritious, like a handful of nuts or a glass of warm milk.
5. Draw a bath. Soaking in a warm tub is a great way to relax. It will also raise your body temperature, which helps to prepare you for sleep.
6. Dress comfortably. Sleep and meditation call for similar wardrobe choices. Wear loose-fitting pajamas or other soft clothing made from natural fibers.
Methods for Bedtime Meditation
You may be used to staying alert during daytime meditation. However, it’s okay to give yourself permission to fall asleep during your nighttime sessions.
Try these ideas for easing yourself into pleasant dreams:
1. Scan your body. Explore your body from head to toe. Check for any areas of tension that you can release by imagining that you are bathing them in warm and healing light.
Get in the habit of paying attention to your body. When you notice an ache or pain, you can adjust your position or talk with your doctor so small discomforts are treated before they build up and interfere with your sleep.
2. Become more mindful. Learning how to focus on the present moment will help to keep you centered and aware of what is happening with your mind and body. Studies show that multitasking may erode your concentration and create stress that can contribute to insomnia.
3. Listen to podcasts and brain entrainment mp3s. Guided meditation can be especially useful for beginners. Browse online for resources like the Plum Village app or Headspace. Deep delta brain entrainment mp3s are an excellent way to calm down your body and mind so you can fall asleep faster and deeper.
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4. Follow your breath and breathe deeply. Your meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath. Inhale through your nose. Become very aware and totally focused on the air filling and lifting your stomach and chest. Gently relax and completely release the air through your mouth or nose.
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When you breathe fully from your abdomen more oxygen is in your blood which in turn flows into your brain. You’ll have more energy all day long and feel more relaxed when night falls.
5. Chant and sing. Find a mantra to repeat silently or out loud. Invent your own wording or read some inspirational literature for ideas.
6. Learn yoga Nidra or Tai chi. There’s a style of yoga just for sleep. Yoga Nidra literally means yogic sleep, and it describes a state between wakefulness and sleep. Take classes at a local studio or online to master the techniques.
Yoga Nidra and Tia chi can be very helpful when your awareness is on the process as a mental discipline and also as a physical workout in your daily routine. These movements and poses encourage deep breathing, stress reduction, and enhanced concentration.
7. Pick an object. Placement meditation can help you to calm your thoughts by holding your attention on an idea or mental image. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back. You’ll gradually build your concentration and feel more peaceful.
8. Express gratitude. There are many beneficial objects you can choose from for placement meditation. Thankfulness is an excellent choice for bedtime. Review your day to remember the acts of kindness you received and generate warm and happy feelings.
9. Let go of judgments. Meditation is very effective in learning how to free your mind from unnecessary judgments in your life. Learn to observe your thoughts through Mindfulness techniques and reduce negative self-talk.
10. Practice your faith. Meditation is a tool that can be used to practice any kind of religious, spiritual, or personal beliefs. Adapt your bedtime rituals to serve your own purpose and needs.
11. Use meditation to complement sleep. People who go on prolonged retreats are sometimes surprised that meditating all day may dramatically reduce their need for sleep at night. Proceed at your own pace to find the right combination of sleep and meditation for you. You may someday find that your body requires less sleep as you meditate more.
12. Create a quiet setting. Silence is conducive to both meditation and sleep. Now that you’ve got the TV off, put your phone away too. Decorate your bedroom with an emphasis on restful colors and soft textures.
13. Identify obstacles. If some thoughts recur as you meditate, they could be trying to tell you something. Those nagging resentments or fears may be issues you need to resolve so you can live and sleep better.
Fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer with a bedtime meditation practice. Your nights will be more peaceful, and your days will be more restful when you use mindfulness to increase your mental and physical wellbeing.
Bedtime Meditation Practices To Do at Bedtime and Upon Waking
1. Limit your screen time. Meditation works wonders for getting a good night’s sleep, but you can use almost any activity to get you away from watching television, checking your phone before bed (or in bed), or surfing the internet will help you fall asleep faster. Studies show that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes because of the electronic mental stimulation from looking at a brightly lit screen just before going to sleep. Try to turn all your electronic devices off and relax with a book or sit outside at least an hour before bed.
3. Take the pressure off. Getting anxious about falling asleep is enough to keep you up at night. By shifting your attention to more constructive activities, you’ll dispel these tensions.
4. Use guided imagery or phrases. While you may try to avoid mental sinking during your regular meditation practice, you can adapt some of the concepts to use when you’re going to sleep. Select any soothing image or thought and allow your mind to become fully engaged with it. You might think about a still lake or a line of poetry or prayer.
* If you wake up after falling asleep, return your mind to your object of meditation. At first, you may still wake up during the night. If so, return your thoughts to the image or idea you used to help fall asleep.
5. Wake up more gently. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day so you can wake up naturally without using an alarm clock. Easing your mind awake gradually will enable you to hold onto the pleasant sensations you experienced overnight.
Bedtime meditation is a safe and effective method for alleviating insomnia. These techniques will help you enjoy a deep and restful sleep.