Did you know that more than 40% of our society has some kind of sleep trouble and challenges with their daily sleep? An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. Sleep problems cause an estimated damage of more than $15.5 billion to national health care.
Simply put, most of these people either have a problem falling asleep immediately after lying on the bed or it is the quality of the sleep and they keep tossing in their beds until earlier hours of the morning.
Perhaps it is not wrong to attribute bad quality of sleep to our life style. In today’s highly busy lifestyle a large number of humans rush out from their beds to get into the daily routine, are extremely busy throughout the day and reach back home just in time to crash into the bed.
Despite a hectic schedule, where we see everybody is in a hurry, still the individuals feel that they have not accomplished much during the day. Hence there are not enough hours at their disposal to catch up with some leisure activities. In other words, there is no time for the activities which we enjoy and it could give us much needed pleasure and relax the mind.
After reaching home, when we do get some time, we try to relax by watching TV or browsing social media sites on our smart phone or laptop screens. These kinds of activities in fact add unwanted stimuli and stress to our already over active lifestyle. This makes it too difficult for our overloaded minds to slow down.
How Meditation Helps to Sleep Better
Meditating is a perfect way to relax yourself within minutes. Meditation is an easy way to center yourself by bringing your consciousness to the present moment. Meditation makes you see within and without and also look at a bigger picture.
For the uninitiated or the beginners of meditation, it can be a challenge to be still physically and mentally and not be restless. But that is the whole idea to make you focus on doing just one thing and that is to do nothing.
Related Article: Meditation Techniques for Good Health and Spiritual Healing
Meditation Techniques to Help Relax and Sleep Better
To adapt yourself for restful sleep, we give below three forms of meditations or exercises that can take you to a state of better mental relaxation and calm the mind leading to a relaxed body and ultimately taking you to a good night’s sleep.
1. Progressive Relaxation
Lie on the bed with your back touching the mattress and face towards the ceiling of the room. Close your eyes and slowly shift your attention to your head and slowly move bit by bit from your head to toe.
Visualize your consciousness visiting every part of your body slowly and giving it command to relax and sleep. You may give the command mentally or whisper it to yourself.
For more effectiveness and faster results, you can do one or more of the following
1. Dim the lights
2. Play soft and relaxing music or affirmations
3. Play an recording audio of sleep affirmations
2. Running the Movie of the Day’s Events
Sometimes also referred to as ‘Recapitulation’, it is a technique of mindfully playing the day’s major activities, events and accomplishments on your mental screen. This is done as the last thing of the day when you are just ready to sleep.
To practice this meditation technique, sit in your bed with spine straight, legs crossed and eyes closed. Put out the lights or dim them. Now go back to the moment you woke up in the morning and run the movie as the day progressed to the present moment.. Review small and big activities you did or you went through including your accomplishments.
This may take 2 to 5 minutes. Don’t stop, even if your mind resists or you find it boring. Smile and watch it as a passive witness.
After completing this meditation exercise for better sleep quality, you are likely to feel more relaxed. For better and faster sleep, you may also combine this exercise with the previous or next meditation exercise for sleep or both.
3. Deep Breathing and Visualization
This kind of meditation technique should be practiced when you are done with the necessary chores of the day on your bed or on a comfortable chair near your bed. Take a few deep breadths consciously and slowly. Visually follow the breadth going in and coming out of your body. As the breadth goes in feel and see that it is spreading the light of love, relaxation, warmth and calmness in each and every cell of your body.
Similarly when you exhale, you should feel and visualize that the breath is leaving your body and taking away with it the tension, pollution, worries and the frustrations. Once again your body and mind is relaxed and leaving you with a feeling of calmness all over your body.
Do it for a few minutes. Allow your mind to clear out the clutter and unwanted thoughts.
Additionally you can focus on a single thought or an image such as your partner’s beautiful smiling face. You will soon notice how difference in you.
As a practitioner of meditation, after some practice I had finally found my own peace and tranquility, achieve rhythm in breath. This made me feel and accept the power of meditation to calm the body and mind, restore and center. I slept very well that night and still do.
So if you ever feel restless and fussy in your bed and unable to sleep in the night, pause and take a few deep breaths. Inhale out the negativity of restlessness, frustration, hurry and worry. Inhale the relaxation and calmness. Let go! You will feel more relaxed and more refreshed.
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We would love to hear from you about your various experiences with the practice of meditation .
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