Do you recognize this? After a busy day you are finally in bed, but you can’t get to sleep. You are worrying and all kinds of thoughts are wandering through your head. You sleep restlessly and often wake up and in the morning you don’t feel rested at all. Many people suffer from sleep disorders, insomnia or poor sleep and are at their wits’ end. Did you know that sleep meditation can help with that? Not only for sleeping problems, but also to simply feel a bit more energetic or more comfortable in your own skin.
Why a sleep meditation
A sleep meditation can help you experience more rest and relaxation and fall asleep more easily. It can also help you improve your sleep quality. A good night’s sleep is necessary to be able to process the stimuli you experience during the day. In addition, the body can recover during sleep and thus strengthens your health, both physically and mentally. Stress decreases and sleep quality increases. After a good night’s sleep, you wake up rested and feel cheerful, energized and alert throughout the day.
How do you perform a sleep meditation?
During a sleep meditation you shift the focus from the head (thoughts) to the body (feeling); such as feeling physical sensations or your breath. You activate the parasympathetic nervous system, a relaxed state in which there is room for rest and recovery. There are many different forms and ways to perform sleep mediation. It is important that you find a way that suits you.
You can do a sleep meditation sitting, next to your bed or in another nice place where you can relax. It can also be lying in bed. You no longer have to change position or take action and you can go to sleep immediately after meditating.
Types of Sleep Meditation
An easy and accessible way to unwind is to listen to relaxing music. You can turn on music with a certain frequency (vibration), nature sounds or ‘white noise’.
Nowadays there are various apps that you can use as a tool during your meditation. As a sleep meditation, you can turn on a guided meditation such as a body scan or a meditation aimed at relaxation or gratitude. There are also specific sleep meditations that are aimed at falling asleep relaxed.
Meditation without guidance
During a meditation without guidance you bring your attention inwards and you can concentrate on one thing. For example, you can focus on your breathing, physical sensations in your body or visualize a place where you like to be and where you feel comfortable. During meditation you perceive what presents itself, without judgment and without having to change anything. Everything is as it may be in the present moment.
In addition, performing a breathing exercise can also have a beneficial effect in experiencing relaxation and calming your nervous system. The focus is on lengthening your exhalation. For example, you can inhale for a count of four and then slowly lengthen your exhalation to a count of 8.
Finally, some tips for a good night’s sleep
Create your own sleeping ritual to prepare body and mind for your night’s rest. You can think of taking a hot shower, drinking a cup of herbal tea or reading a book. You can write down all your thoughts or three things you are grateful for at that moment. Performing a number of gentle yin yoga poses helps you to connect more with your body and to let go of the last physical tension.
There are many possibilities, it is important that you choose a way that suits you, you enjoy doing and where you experience positive effects.