We’ve all experienced trouble falling and staying asleep at some point in our lives. Your head hits the pillow and your thoughts start tumbling out of control. The more time passes, the more stressful you become to force yourself to sleep.You know that feeling, but you never get rid of it.
In fact, it’s estimated that 30% of adults worldwide are regularly sleep deprived. With regular sleep deprivation, your body clock, mood, and memory suffer. Over time, sleeplessness could also lead to chronic anxiety, unwanted weight gain and more health risks.
That’s why the full guide to mindful meditation for sleep and anxiety comes here. This guide will help you practice guided meditation for falling asleep and releasing stress to tame anxious thoughts, calm your mind, and promote a good night’s sleep.
What is Mindful Meditation?
Mindful meditation is a specific, guided experience training you to be more aware of your thoughts and to be able to let go of those anxieties instead of getting stuck on them.
The practice of mindfulness not only encourages nonjudgmental awareness – seeing things exactly as they are with openness and curiosity, but also helps to create a positive habit to be more peaceful, serene and calm. It’s not just in our heads. Physiological changes also occur during meditation. So we can rest our minds while simultaneously resting our bodies.
Why Practice Mindful Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety?
Although it’s not the equivalent of flipping a switch to better sleep, the practice of mindful meditation for sleep and anxiety over time can be a powerful tool on the path to wellness and sleep health. More and more research is aimed at studying how mindfulness principles can be used to treat insomnia. And the most important tools you can bring with you for your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable place to sit. This is why mindful meditation is becoming widely accepted as one of the most effective practices for higher quality sleep and stress relief.
Here are some of the benefits of mindful meditation for sleep and anxiety:
√ Increased and better sleep
Mindful meditation has been shown to improve the quality and efficiency of sleep, especially foe those who have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. Completing a guided meditation for falling asleep before bed can help you sleep easily and soundly.
√ Lower stress and anxiety
Stress is a major endocrine disruptor, a silent killer. It’s critical to quell the disturbance to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Particularly, in this enormously stressful time in the world, we need to pay special attention to our stress and anxiety levels. Mindful meditation is an easy thing a person can do to reduce accumulated stress in one’s life no matter your age, gender, environment, or lifestyle.
√ Balance the nervous system
The autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts: one keeps us alert, the other helps with sleep. We need both, but they’re often out of balance because of chronic stress. Meditation has been shown to help overcome the imbalance of two parts by calming the mind and promoting a sense of inner peace.
√ Positive transformation in the body
Through techniques that focus on breathing and bringing the mind’s attention to the present moment, mindful meditation for sleep and anxiety can lead to some positive responses in the body, such as enhanced melatonin levels, improved mental clarity and memory, and greater efficiency.
When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long-lasting benefits into our lives. And bonus: you don’t need any extra gear or an expensive membership.
How to Start Mindful Meditation and Make It A Habit?
Meditation is simpler (and harder) than most people think. Before starting any meditation, you should recognize that there’s nothing to force, and nothing to make happen. As every insomnia sufferer knows, the more you lie there trying to make yourself sleep, the more it won’t happen. Notice your worries about being unable to sleep, your noisy mind, and visualize them floating by. The more you do this and accept that you cannot force sleep, the easier sleep and relaxation will come.
For beginners, read these steps, make sure you’re somewhere where you can relax into this process, and give it a shot:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while;
- Choose a short time, such as 5 or 10 minutes, to begin your first practice;
- Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. It is okay and natural for your mind to wander from time to time. When it does, return to your breathing.
However, for most people, it is not difficult to start, but persist. To make mindful meditation become a natural part of the way you work and live, here are some ways to assist you.
· Put meditation reminders around you.
If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor so you can’t miss it as you walk by.
· Refresh your reminders regularly.
Try writing new sticky notes to yourself; add variety or make them funny. That way they’ll stick with you longer.
· Create new patterns.
Create easy reminders to shift into the intentional brain. For instance, “If phone rings, take a breath before answering.” Each intentional action to shift into mindfulness will strengthen your intentional brain.
Guided Meditation for Falling Asleep Techniques
If you have tried a basic seated meditation practice, guided meditation for falling asleep might be another form you want to explore. As an excellent tool to improve the length and quality of sleep, guided meditation for falling asleep provides a focal point and gentle instruction to help you connect and let go of self-judgment and anxiety, and get a good night’s rest.
Guided meditation for falling asleep generally needs different techniques:
- Body scanning
As you breathe, do a body scan, starting with the top of your head all the way to your feet. In your scan, relax each part of your body to release tension.
A visualization needs you to imagine an image or scene. It can take you into a mental state, and then naturally slip into sleep.
- Mindful Movement
During some sleep-based meditations, you may be invited to participate in mindful movement practices like Tai Chi, low-impact postures or light stretching to calm your body and mind for refreshing sleep.
If you want to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, try this full guide to mindful meditation for sleep and anxiety to start you on your journey with mindfulness.