The practice of meditation before bed is a healthy habit to help those experiencing trouble falling asleep. We all have parts of our lives that are stressful and make us worry, but these might be the very things that are keeping us up at night. If you have thought about giving meditation for sleep a try then this article is here to help you to learn what types of meditation can improve sleep and how to practice them.
Setting Up to Meditate
There are things you can do before meditating that can help you get the most out of the practice. While there aren’t any right or wrong ways to meditate, there are better ways and below are some tips to help you get started.
Try to Relax Beforehand
Before going to bed you should always try to cut back on the amount of activity you are doing. Read a book, listen to some music or even watch some Netflix, the less you are doing, the better. It also helps to be on an empty stomach, so having dinner earlier or in a smaller portion can help your body relax because it isn’t digesting.
Find the Right Place to Meditate
Since we are meditating for better sleep, the bedroom is a great place to practice. The key is to make your room as calm as possible; no harsh lighting, set your phone to ‘do not disturb’, ask others not to distract and regulate your body temperature. But don’t worry, you can lie down comfortably, there’s no need to be in a lotus position.
3 Meditation Techniques to Try Before Bed
When you meditate before bed, you are practicing good sleep hygiene. If you are struggling with sleep disturbances, meditation helps to fall asleep naturally. By using these different techniques of meditating, you can reduce stress, experience less anxiety and enjoy overall calmness.
Body Scan Meditation
The goal of body scan meditation is to focus your awareness on physical sensations. This helps you to get out of your head and become more in tune with your body. A lot of stress can get stored in our muscles and joints which can prevent us from getting a good night’s rest in order to heal.
- Take 3 deep breaths and then bring your awareness to the weight of your body.
- Start by focusing on softening the muscles in your face, brow, eyes and jaw.
- Slowly continue down, softening your neck, shoulders, arms, hands until you get all the way to your toes, noticing how each part feels.
Guided meditation involves another person leading you through the meditation, instructing you along the way. It is one of the most common types and is perfect for people who are trying out meditation for the first time. While the methods might differ from app to app, here is a general overview of what to expect to hear:
Breathe slowly in a comfortable posture, either sitting or lying down.
Focus on the person’s voice, making an effort not to strain while following instructions
If your mind wanders, slowly bring your attention back to the voice (and don’t beat yourself up for losing focus)
Think of mindfulness meditation as a combination of the above techniques but involves being intensely (but still softly) aware of everything. A popular meditation practice, the goal isn’t to remove thoughts or distract from annoying sensations, but to accept everything as it is in the present moment.
- Start by breathing deeply, following the breath from the top of the exhalation, pause for a moment and exhale.
- Notice your body and consciously loosen any tension you find.
- If a thought comes up, acknowledge it and slowly return to your breath, repeating when necessary.
Stick to a Meditation Routine
Applying sleep meditation to your bedtime routine, if only for a few minutes, is a healthy way to achieve more restful sleep. In order to make any habit stick, it has to be done consistently and with the amazing benefits that come with meditation, we’re confident that it will become a part of your daily routine. But just like how we can’t force sleep, we shouldn’t force ourselves to meditate when we’re not feeling like it.
If you want to learn more about how to get better quality sleep, check out our Sleepy’s Tips.