Meditation for better sleep

The popularity of meditation as a recommended component of a healthy lifestyle has been going only up in recent years.

Yoga and Pilates have become two of the most popular varieties of exercise.

However, a lot of people still think of Tibetan monks, sitting in the air when it comes both to meditation and yoga.

Actually you do not have to possess superpowers in order to practice it. It is quick, calming and beneficial in a number of ways.

Find out more about the article!

What is meditation?

Meditation is practicing mindfulness by focusing the mind on a single emotion or activity.

People are doing it to raise awareness and help to achieve a mentally and emotionally calm state.

The earliest written records of this practice are dating back to 7th century CE.

Meditation often reduces stress, depression, and pain, as well as increasing peace and well – being.

Reasons for poor sleep

In a lot of previous articles, we have stressed on how important sleep is.

Yet, sleep deprivation becomes even more common among adults.

The results of a recent Gallup poll showed that 40% of Americans sleep less than 7 hours per night.

In 1942 adults slept for average 7, 9 hours while in 2013 they have dropped to 6, 8.

Many people know that our bodies function best when they get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

Here it is important to mention that you should not focus only on the numbers of hours, but rather on the quality of your sleep.

Later on, in the article we will be telling you how to improve it.

One of the main reasons for sleep deprivation is the technology and more precisely, the blue light emitted from the devices’ screens.

This kind of light interrupts our internal body clock since it is being naturally emitted from the Sun.

If you expose to it, your body confuses and it disturbs your circadian rhythms.

A study showed that the more devices you use throughout the day, the harder you will find falling asleep.

These results refer mostly to people who used a device for a long period of time and have put it near them after going to bed.

However, Iris can help you a lot in this case.

The software reduces the blue light emitted from your device’s screen.

It works in a few different modes and depends on the action you are performing.

It is very easy to work with, cheap and most important, worth every dollar you spend on it.

We guarantee that after you try it, you won’t want to use your device without Iris on anymore!

Another reason is that our thoughts hit us like a truck once we have become still.

There are finally no other distractions and they can bother us freely.

This can lead not only to having a hard time falling asleep but to insomnia as well.

We all know how irritating this can be. We feel tired but our minds just do not leave us be.

What is more, a restless night has a negative impact on our productivity the next day.

Introduction to meditation for better sleep

Practicing meditation in order to improve your sleeping patterns is just one of the ways to do it.

As described on headspace’s website meditation for better sleep is actually “a specific, guided experience that offers a natural sleep aid all on its own, allowing us to let go of the day (…) so that we can rest the mind while simultaneously resting the body.”.

Slower breathing is encouraged during the process, which makes you concentrate on this general task and eventually results in falling asleep easier.

You are no longer put under pressure because of your thoughts and you can gently relax.

Therefore it is crucial not to force sleep while meditating, but rather just unwind and let yourself go.

A study from 2012 proved that people who joined a 1 – year-long program, teaching them meditation and mindfulness awareness exercises had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end.

These results are in comparison to another group of people, completing a 1 – year-long course teaching them how to improve their sleep.

The participants were 49 years of age or older and had a hard time falling asleep.

What meditation actually does, is using techniques that “evoke the relaxation response” as Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, says.

The relaxation response eases depression, pain, and even high blood pressure.

Practices

There are 2 ways to do meditation for better sleep – either guided or not.

If you are new to the whole meditation thing it would probably be easier for you to go for the first option.

But again, try not to focus this much on the techniques and instructions and just breathe.

Lay down in your bed, close your eyes, take a number of deep breaths and feel your body relaxing.

This is the beginning of any session.

After that follow the instructions or your own way.

The guided meditation includes breathing exercises, mindful body scanning, visualization, gratitude, counting, silence.

Before starting the meditation you may be asked to briefly review your day – just spend a couple of seconds on every task you accomplished from the time you got up to the moment you got into bed.

It is a good way of starting to relax your body.

You should pay attention to other aspects of your life as well.

Such are diet, stress management, physical activity, and bedtime preparation.

Aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet, actively move on a daily basis and find your ways to destress.

By “bedtime preparation” is meant not to use a single device at least an hour before bed, arrange your sleeping environment so that it is dark and quiet, and once you have laid down, think of the practice you are about to do.

Conclusion

If you struggle with falling asleep or suffer from insomnia, meditation for better sleep is definitely a practice you should give a go.

It has been proven that it improves sleep and consequently, depression, pain, and fatigue as well.

Having a quality sleep immediately results in a better life overall since it gives you energy and motivation.

If you are a newbie, you can start with the guided meditations of the headspace app or any other you can find.

If you are already into it, you can challenge yourself by creating your own method of meditation and guiding yourself.

Whatever you choose, it will definitely help you be a better version of yourself.

Do not make it a short – term “New Year’s resolution” but a long-lasting New Year’s habit.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not sponsored by headspace.

 

 

 

 

Author: Ilina Stoyanova

 

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