Sleep Meditation: Your Nightly Mindfulness Practice
Sleep meditation is a technique for relaxing your mind and body at bedtime. In today’s fast-paced world, concerns about work, family and friends often follow us to bed and affect our sleep quality, with as many of 67% of Brits now struggling with disrupted sleep. Sleep meditation can help with this by allowing you to switch off at bedtime.
Here, TEMPUR® provide guidance on how to meditate in bed and explore its benefits, so that you can achieve a truly restful night’s sleep.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SLEEP?
The ability to function with little sleep is sometimes glorified in our society, with legendary figures such as Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs famously claiming to have accomplished all they did on only few hours of rest per night. However, whilst our bodies are all different, the average adult requires approximately seven hours of sleep per night. Consistently attaining insufficient sleep can be extremely damaging to your physical and mental health and has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, depression, diabetes and obesity.
MEDITATION FOR SLEEP AND ANXIETY
Sleep meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety, one of the largest causes of sleep problems. Helping to calm the mind and producing physical changes that let you relax, meditation before bed is a great way to ensure a peaceful sleep.
Physical changes that may occur in your body whilst meditating include:
- Increased production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle)
- Heart rate reduction
- Blood pressure reduction
These physical relaxations also occur in the early stages of sleep. In mimicking them, meditation helps to prepare your body for sleep.
HOW TO MEDITATE
There are many forms of meditation, but even the simplest form can be highly beneficial. This is a great place for you to begin, as it will not require specialist equipment and can be carried out by anyone.
The steps of simple sleep meditation are:
- Sit or lie in a quiet and comfortable place, preferably on your bed
- Close your eyes and slow your breathing
- Inhale and exhale deeply, focusing on creating a slow rhythm
- Allow any thoughts that enter your head to drift out again and don’t focus on them
WILL MEDITATION HELP MY SLEEP IMMEDIATELY?
Meditation can be beneficial regardless of experience. However, for many the effects may not be obvious at first. It takes time to learn how to relax your mind, so you may not find yourself soothed by meditation straight away.
You’ll need to build up the amount of time you can meditate for and practice allowing thoughts to drift out of your head. Start with just a few minutes of meditation before bed and aim to increase this to 15 to 20 minutes over time. Although it may not work for everyone, meditation is a low-risk method that can boost most people’s sleep quality, so it is worth persevering.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO SLEEP BETTER?
Whilst an undoubtedly powerful tool for maximising your sleep quality, meditation may not work alone. Other things you can do to achieve a peaceful night’s rest include:
- Ensuring your mattress and pillows are of a high quality
- Wearing a sleep mask to block out any light pollution
- Exercising during the day to burn off excess energy
So, there we have the TEMPUR® guide to sleep meditation. Has sleep meditation helped make sleep less elusive for you? Let us know in the comments below…