Sleep meditation is exactly as it says. Meditation practise that helps you get a good nights sleep. The practise involves moving your thoughts away from your mind to sensations in the body. This allows a quieter mind and a more restful sleep.
In a world where we are busy, all of the time, sleep problems are on the rise. Thanks to blue light from tablets and phones, pressures at work, hectic schedules and processed foods we are becoming more and more unhealthy, and lack of sleep is contributor to this.
Better sleep can contribute to lowered stress levels which means less cortisol production and an improved immune system. However, achieving restful sleep can be hard if you are battling stress and anxiety. And you may need a little extra help to quiet the mind before bedtime. The best sleep meditation for this is guided.
Guided sleep meditation involves laying in bed and mediation to an audio that directs you step by step through a sleep meditation.
The goal of guided sleep meditation is to clear the mind of racing thoughts, reduce the impact of worried thoughts and release tension in the body. By learning how to shift your focus and relax your body, you will be able to fall asleep more quickly and stay in a deep sleep for longer.
Types of Sleep Meditation
Type #1 – Mindfulness Meditation
This type of sleep meditation does not involve clearing your mind of all thought. Practising mindfulness is actually the opposite. It requires you to focus your mind on the present, being aware of each breath and paying attention to the body.
This can be challenging at first, with all the thoughts running through your head. Streamlining your mind takes time and practise. Stick with it and soon enough you will feel the benefits.
A good way to start is to focus on your breath. Lay down, on your back and breathe deep. Try to clear your mind and focus only on your breath. For more info on Mindfulness click here.
Type #2 – Concentration Meditation
This requires solo focus. Focusing on one thing at one time. A popular object to focus on is the flame of a candle. But you can use any object that brings you a sense of peace. You can also repeat your favorite mantra to yourself throughout the meditation.
If this is your first time performing concentration meditation, you may want to simply focus on the sensations of the breath and allow each inhalation to slowly move through your body. Breath is always a good place to start when it comes to first time meditation.
Type #3 – Guided Meditation
This type of sleep meditation involves guidance from another – this could be a person present in the moment with you, guiding you step by step. Or, more popular, an audio.
There are downloadable meditation apps that will instruct you step by step through what you must do. There are also videos on YouTube for guided meditation.
Is Sleep Meditation A Substitute For Sleep?
No is the simple answer. Sleep Meditation is designed to give your body and mind a rest. And in doing so improve the quality of the sleep you do have. But, you cannot replace sleep with sleep meditation. Sleep meditation complements and improves sleep.
How To Do Sleep Meditation?
- Get ready for bed, turn off the lights in your bedroom, lie down.
- Breathe deeply. Observe your inhales and exhales.
- Starting with the top of your head or your feet and going in the direction away from it progressively, tense or contract each muscle group one at a time. Hold the contraction for at least five seconds, and then relax that muscle group for up to 30 seconds. It can help to inhale before tightening and exhale during the relaxation.
- Deliberately focus on the difference you feel between tension and relaxation.
- Repeat each tensing and relaxation twice if you wish.
- Feel yourself relax and the stress melts away.