Meditation is a great way to transition from your busy day to getting ready for bed. Taking some time before you sleep to be mindful can make it easier to both fall asleep and have higher quality sleep. Even if you aren’t familiar with meditation, these practices can be a great place to start.
Have you ever tried to sleep but couldn’t because your mind wouldn’t stop racing. It is easy to get sidetracked into thinking about your day while trying to sleep. Mindfulness Meditation is a practice that is meant to remedy this problem. This form of meditation requires you to be fully focused on what is happening now. With it, you can begin to accept your feelings, thoughts and sensations without judgment.
In order to begin your meditation, you should get comfortable. You don’t have to be in this position for very long. You could choose to set an alarm for the end of your meditation for a period of time as short as 5 minutes. Still, you should feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
After you begin, you should focus on your breathing. Your belly should rise and fall as you breathe in and out of your nose. As you do this, begin to note your thoughts. Your goal here should be to not pass judgment on what comes to mind. It may help to imagine them as clouds passing by. If you get off track and begin feeling stressed, just return your focus to your breath.
Body Scan Meditation
Stress can have negative effects on our bodies that we may not even notice. Doing Body Scan Meditation can make us aware of the way in which our bodies are subtly tensing due to anxiety. Allowing your body to fully relax before bed can make it easier to fall asleep.
Just like the previous meditation, this practice begins with getting comfortable and focusing on your breathing.
Once you accomplish this, you should bring awareness to your feet. Do you notice any pain? Acknowledge the sensations and accept them. Are any of the sensations negative? If so you should breathe into them and visualize the tension leaving your body. Continue this cycle with other parts of your body. This should help you release tension so that you can sleep. This would also help you to be more aware of your body in the future.
Guided Meditation can be an excellent tool for someone who is just starting with mediation. These meditations will walk you through the steps and remind you to stay on track.
Where to find guided meditations:
Use a Bedtime Mantra
A bedtime mantra is the simplest way to make sure you are working at least a little meditation into your nightly routine.
Obviously, it can be difficult to completely silence your mind and stop thoughts from entering your head. There is a way to make these thoughts help instead of hurt. Rather than lying awake at night and allowing your mind to wander, you can choose a mantra that helps you to fall asleep.
As you drift off to sleep, here are some calming phrases you could try repeating:
- I am becoming more relaxed with every breath
- I release this day
- I feel at peace
You can also come up with your own mantra. You should use whatever works best for you.
Meditation can feel intimidating for some people. Most of us are not used to sitting silently with our thoughts. While it may take some practice, including even just 5 minutes of meditation into your nightly routine can make falling asleep and staying asleep much easier.