Guide to meditation for sleep
After dealing with all the stress at work, you love to get back home and let your hair down. A hearty meal and some good sleep can make you ready for the next day. Sleeping is very important as it helps to rejuvenate the body and replenish our energy.
It goes hand-in-hand with healthy food and physical exercise. The lack of any of these may affect your body in a bad way.
However, with the extremely busy schedules of people all around the world, we have all become sleep-deprived. The development of technology has also taken our sleep away. We spend late hours in the night watching movies or playing games on the computer. As a result, we wake up tired and remain like that for the rest of the day.
Eventually, our bodies develop sleep disorders such as insomnia. The prevention of such problems lies in the techniques of meditation for sleep. This article is everything that you need to know about meditation for good sleep, the benefits and how we should do it.
Why sleep is important?
There are so many reasons that can justify the benefits of good sleep. Here are some of them.
1. Prevents weight gain
Why do people say that night time meditation for sleep works like magic on the body? This is because, as per several research reports, sleep-deprivation is directly proportionate to excessive weight gain. People who do not sleep enough are often at a higher risk of obesity than people who get enough sleep.
The exact reason for the effect of weight gain due to lesser sleep is still not 100% clear. However, scientists are working on it. Meditation for sleep and weight loss is an extremely effective remedy to the problem of sleep-deprivation. So, you must sleep well to be in good shape.
2. Calorie intake
Studies suggest that individuals who do not sleep enough usually eat more. They have a bigger appetite compared to people who sleep enough. Not getting enough sleep disturbs the fluctuation levels of hormones in the body. The appetite hormones, in turn, start behaving abnormally and cause hunger at odd times.
There is a substance in the body known as ‘ghrelin’ and another known as ‘leptin’. Ghrelin increases appetite whereas leptin suppresses appetite. When the hormonal regulation goes off, ghrelin in the body increases and leptin reduces. You should try meditation for sleep deprivationto come out of this problem.
3. Improves productivity and concentration
Good sleep improves several sections of brain functioning. For example, sleeping well means an improvement in cognition, performance, productivity, and concentration. The combination of all of these goes offbeat if you do not get enough sleep.
Experts researched this topic with the help of a bunch of interns. They were divided into two groups out of which one was told to work traditionally and the other in a modern way. The interns working in the traditional section kept working for 24 hours with almost no sleep.
On the other hand, another group worked comparatively less and got enough sleep. As per reports, the first group was making more mistakes at work than the second one.
Moreover, sleep deprivation can cause the brain to transfer to a zone in which you feel like you are under the influence of alcohol. Sleeping well can increase concentration and enhance productivity irrespective of your age. You can listen to meditation for sleep music for better sleep.
4. Good for athletes
People who are more into sports value proper sleep than anything else. Sleeping well improves athletic performance. For example, if basketball players sleep well, they feel fresher on the court the next day. They can play more efficiently, accurately and better. Good sleep also leads to a more peaceful mind which is extremely important for players.
Elderly people cannot even function properly if they do not get some good sleep at night. Such habits lead to problems such as slower walking, difficulty to perform daily activities on your own. Elderly people should try best guided sleep meditation to sleep well and work better.
5. Lesser risk of heart problems
Your sleep duration and quality may affect your body severely on a lot of occasions. Sleep-deprivation may disturb the balance of some of the brain functions too. You are at a higher risk of chronic diseases or heart problems if you do not sleep well.
A normal adult should sleep for at least 7-8 hours to fulfill the requirements of the body. People who are already suffering from heart disorders must sleep enough to prevent the chances of stroke.
6. Preventing Diabetes
As per the study, two men slept for just 4 hours for 7 days at a stretch and there were signs of prediabetes developing in their bodies. These symptoms were not seen just a week later when they slept enough.
Experts claim that lack of sleep can highly influence the development of blood sugar and type II diabetes in a human body. This is because the insulin levels in your body function abnormally and there is a problem in the glucose metabolism. This is one reason why doctors suggest good sleep for every diabetes patient.
7. Prevents depression
People who are suffering from depression often report sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can also encourage people to attempt suicides. Not sleeping well causes more anxiety, depression, and stress. You are always upset and cannot participate in activities with other people. Meditation for sleep and anxiety can help cure such problems.
8. Improves immunity
If you do not sleep well, your immune system is going to get dysfunctional. People who sleep less are at a higher risk of immunity problems such as cold and flu. If you sleep enough, you do not have to worry much because you are healthier than the rest.
If you are suffering from mild fever or continuous flu, besides medical treatment, you need proper sleep. Read about east Asian culture and how they meditate to stay healthy.
Not sleeping well can affect the cells in your body severely. People who are suffering from Crohn’s disease should sleep well or there is a high chance that they might relapse frequently. You are encouraging cell-damage in your body if you do not sleep well.
Inflammation in the digestive system is the main cause of cell damage. People who are suffering from digestion problems for a long time should maintain good sleeping habits.
10. Makes you a friendlier person
Sleeping well at night means you will feel fresh the next morning. You feel energetic and cheerful when you sleep well. This is when you behave nicely with people. Thus, being social and cheerful has a direct relationship with proper sleeping habits.
If you do not get enough sleep, you are likely to stay cranky and angry all the time. Little things can irritate you if you are not in a good mood. You can try to do meditation for sleep and healing to keep your mind calm and sleep well.
The dangers of not getting enough sleep
We already know that not getting enough sleep can make us foggy and grumpy. But do you know that there are more serious effects sleep-deprivation can cause? Here are a few points that will tell you about some of the most surprising side-effects on the body due to lack of sleep.
History proves that lack of sleep has been the reason behind major disasters such as the Three-Mile Island Nuclear Disaster of 1979, the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986 and the fatal Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. There are so many other examples of such serious disasters caused due to sleep-deprivation.
People who feel sleepy during work hours are prone to frequent accidents that occur repeatedly. They also take more sick leave per accident and are thus less productive at work. In the USA, as per reports, every year 100,000 auto crashes take place and there are cases of almost 1,500 deaths in a year.
The main cause of these accidents is fatigue or drowsiness. The victims are mostly within the age of 25 years. Therefore, the lack of sleep is one of the most serious public hazards.
2. Concentration problems
Sleep has a direct relationship with the brain and its functions. Not getting enough sleep may lead to problems in understanding and concentration. Learning and thinking is a continuous cognitive process that takes place in the brain.
Lack of sleep disrupts this process and you may face a problem in remembering things. Sleep helps in consolidating memories in the mind. So, if you do not sleep well, you may not be able to learn or remember properly.
3. Major health problems
Regular sleep-deprivation may cause several serious health problems. Some of which include-
- Heart problems
- Diabetes and blood sugar
- Heart attacks and strokes
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart failure
Another major problem that is a result of lack of sleep is insomnia. It is a typical sleep disorder in which people find it difficult to fall asleep or get sound sleep.
4. Sexual problems
Lack of sleep leads to lower libidos. People who do not get enough sleep lack interest in sex. The main reason is that they are so tired and stressed out that they do not have any energy left in them. Other factors that affect such behavior are sleepiness and anxiety.
Sleep-deprivation leads to another major problem which is sleep apnea. This problem is more common in men. Men who suffer from sleep apnea have acute respiratory problems. As a result of this, these men have a low testosterone level. It means that they secrete abnormally less testosterone at night.
Sleep disorders and lack of sleep over a prolonged period can become the cause of severe depression. A 2005 poll report in America claimed that people usually suffer from sleep-deprivation due to anxiety or depression.
Insomnia is the main disorder that is a result of sleep-deprivation. It is directly proportional to depression. Another 2007 poll report in America suggested that people who suffer from insomnia for a long time may develop depression very easily. Insomnia is the most common symptom of depression.
Experts say that insomnia and depression are interdependent. Sleep-deprivation causes insomnia and people with insomnia cannot sleep well. However, working on insomnia can help you get rid of depression. You should try mindfulness meditation for sleep if you are suffering from depression or anxiety.
6. Aging skin
The initial symptoms of insomnia are puffy eyes and sallow skin, but the symptoms may increase with the number of days. If you do not get enough sleep continuously, it means if you are suffering from chronic sleep-deprivation, the symptoms are serious.
Your skin will look dull and your face will develop fine lines and there will be dark circles around your eyes. Cortisol is a stress hormone. The secretion of cortisol increases when you do not get enough sleep.
Cortisol, in turn, damages skin collagen, which normally keeps your skin elastic and smooth. The same is the case with the growth hormones in our body. Lack of sleep releases more amounts of this hormone. For young people, this hormone helps in their growth. However, for older people, it increases weight and thickens the skin.
If you want a sharper memory, you need to sleep more. People who sleep less are reportedly more inattentive and also find it harder to remember things. Long term memories are a bigger problem with such people. Sleep-deprivation leads to a zone of drunkenness and people feel lost in such situations.
8. Excessive weight gain
Sleep-deprivation has a direct relationship with excessive weight gain. Reports suggest that people who sleep less usually have a larger appetite and can eat more. This means you will develop obesity over some time.
A 2004 research report claims that people who do not get enough sleep for about 7-8 hours are at a higher risk of obesity than others.
9. Death risk
a study was executed on a group of British civil servants and their sleep patterns. Experts wanted to find out how if sleeping had a connection with the mortality rate. Reports that were published in 2007 that people who do not sleep for an average of 7 hours per day are at a death risk.
These people are closer to death irrespective of the cause of it. Cardiovascular problems are the most common cause of death in these cases.
10. Inability to judge situations
Lack of sleep makes us inattentive and also impairs our capabilities of judging people or situations. We lose the sense of interpretation of situations properly. The worst thing is that these people cannot judge how sleep-deprivation is affecting them.
Today’s world, everyone is in a hurry and sleeping less is a sign of honor for some. But if you judge this aspect and come out with the understanding that less sleep is fine, you are completely wrong. If you feel that you are used to sleeping less, then you are also wrong. No one can ever get used to sleep-deprivation.
How meditation for sleep can help you?
Meditation is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays. People are getting to know about the benefits of meditation. It is a habit and a process which helps you to channelize your thoughts towards the correct direction and also increases concentration.
In the case of sleep meditation, the main objective is to fight with sleep-disorders such as insomnia and apnea. People meditate as per their requirements and the following are some of the most common benefits.
1. Stress relief
This is one of the most important reasons for which people practice meditation. As we all know, physical or mental stress can raise the secretion of the stress hormone or cortisol in our bodies. They, in turn, produce chemicals such as cytokines that promote inflammation in the body.
The major effects of such reactions in the body give way to sleep- deprivation, focus issues, anxiety, fatigue and high blood pressure.
As per expert reports, mindfulness meditation for sleep is the best way to get rid of such problems. Meditation has worked like magic for a lot of people who were complaining of extreme stress. Besides, meditation helps to cure other disorders related to stress as well. These include improper bowel movements, fibromyalgia, and traumatic stress.
2. Anxiety control
If you want to control anxiety, think less and take less stress. This is the main mantra to stay happy. There are various symptoms of anxiety such as phobias, panic attacks, social anxiety, OCD and paranoid thoughts. Yoga is a kind of meditation that helps with all kinds of anxiety issues. You can also practice meditation for sleep and healingfor the best results.
The study was conducted on a group of 18 people three years post their meditation sessions. The result shows that most of the individuals were still practicing meditation and were much happier. They had great control over their anxiety levels and were leading sorted lives. Meditation benefits people who work in a stressful environment for long hours too.
3. Emotional improvement
Meditation works as a huge positive influence on people’s minds. It can change a person’s perspective and outlook towards life. Almost all the research done in this aspect has come up with the same result.
All experts say that practicing meditation can prevent depression and hence a person becomes more emotionally stable. As you already know, stress and anxiety result in cortisol disorder in our bodies.
The body also releases other toxic substances. This is the reason that people who meditate stay healthier than everyone else. Several electronic reactions take place in the human brain. Meditation helps in regulating these.
Meditation will help you understand yourself better. This helps you to become a better human being. You can also relate to the people around yourself in a much better manner. On one hand, other forms of the same aspect will tell you about harming yourself and self-defeating.
Meditation will teach you how to control your mind and stay patient. This is a more constructive way of dealing with adverse situations.
5. Retains memory
People have a problem with remembering things as they grow old. Read some of the free guided meditation for sleep tips for help regarding this. It doesn’t matter how old you are if your memory is sharp. There is a process of yoga known as ‘Kirtan Kriya’.
In this, you have to chant a mantra continuously with a specific finger movement for concentration. This helps to improve old people’s ability to do all the daily work with ease.
Meditation works like magic for patients suffering from Dementia, which is also a disease related to memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, it is a great stress-relief technique for people who are around a person suffering from such serious disorders.
Healthy and good sleep without drugs
There is a misconception about insomnia and several people feel that a person suffering from this disorder does not sleep at all. that is not the case at all. the main symptoms of insomnia are the following:
- Finding it difficult to fall asleep
- Interrupted sleep
- Waking up several times at night
- Waking up early in the morning
You must have heard people boast about how they can manage by sleeping just for 5-6 hours every day. However, this act of heroism is dangerous for your health. An average of 7-9 hours of sleep is a must for an adult. The major side-effects of insomnia are:
- You will feel sleepy during the day. Besides, you will be in a bad mood, irritated and cranky for the rest of the time.
- You will gain a lot of weight and losing it is very difficult
- You will face concentration problems and will not be able to work efficiently.
- Chronic disorders
- Weak immunity system
- Anxiety, depression, and mental problems
There are several supplements and herbal products sold in the market. Sellers promote such things by making big claims. This can work well for some people too. However, we would suggest that you do not consume prescribed pills regularly. There are some medicines for sleep that in turn can harm your body very badly.
Just practice meditation for sleep and try to maintain a few other things for sound sleep. You should avoid rich and oily food at night. Stay away from mobile phones and computers a couple of hours before you sleep too. If you follow all of the techniques for meditation for less sleep you will not need any medicine at all.
Simple techniques to fall asleep
A good night’s sleep is very important and it helps our body and mind to work properly. Some people can fall asleep very easily and some people struggle to get sound sleep. There are a few simple tips to learn for some good sleep.
- Keep the temperature of your room soothing and low
- Practice all the meditation for sleep techniquesand see which one works best for you. start doing yoga for peace and relaxation.
- Fix the time to go to bed and wake up as well
- Try to wake up early and go to bed early
- 5. Stop using alarms if possible
- Don’t sleep in the day time
- Listen to some meditation for sleep music
- Aromatherapy is a magical remedy for all sleep disorders
- Limit your caffeine consumption
- Think about good stuff before sleeping
How to meditate for sleep?
If you feel that your mind is restless and you are unable to sleep at night, meditation for sleep is what you need. It is a mind-calming practice that can be done during the daytime and also before going to bed.
The objective of sleep meditation is to get rid of fatigue, stress, and insomnia. You must know that regular physical exercise strengthens and relaxes muscle and body stress. Meditation is similarly an exercise of the mind and soul. It relaxes your mind and helps you to sleep better at night.
A fact about meditation is that we just try to calm our thoughts but the practice has more effects on the body. Meditation creates psychological changes which already takes you to the stage of early sleep. Proper bedtime meditation means that you are awake during the process but your mind is already relaxed and asleep.
It sounds like magic but there is logic too. During this mental exercise, your heart will relax and your pulse will slow down. Also, the cortisol in the body decreases and your blood pressure drops to normal too. There are some different styles of sleep meditation. You can try everything and then decide which one is correct for you.
This is the most popular and also the common style of meditation. Mindfulness meditation for sleep means you have to focus on your body and breathing and nothing else around you. as you lie down on the bed, during this meditation, you will just feel the surface under you and your breathing.
It is possible that during this time, your mind will wander somewhere else. It is completely alright but you must make sure that you do not let go of your thoughts. Bring yourself back to your initial position whenever you lose concentration.
This is an easier version and mainly done for improving concentration. As you lie down on the bed, focus on one point. It can be a hook on the wall or the wall lamp. Keep your thoughts in one place and do not look away.
You can keep chanting a line or a mantra continuously. For beginners who are trying night time meditation for sleep, this is the best style to start with. Focusing on one thing helps to relax the mind completely.
This style of meditation cannot be done alone. There is a person who practices it and a guide who will help by supervising and regulating the whole process. The instructor will start with the lowest part of the body and move upwards slowly, concentrating on one body part at a time.
Free guided meditation for sleep also includes mobile applications that feature virtual instructors who will tell you to imagine beautiful natural scenery. You can also do imagery meditation in a group.
Guided techniques behind sleep meditation
If you think yoga works well for you, then why wait? Now you have several options for guided meditation over so many platforms. There is a trainer or instructor and you just have to do as he says. For this, it is not necessary that you all the techniques of meditation.
The instructor can guide you personally or through recordings, mixed media, music, videos and much more. As you listen to the guides, your subconscious mind triggers and reacts to these. Your subconscious mind is the actual moderator of all your social and emotional aspects.
For example, creativity, self-empowerment, self-improvement, and healing. There are several apps such as Headspace that can virtually guide you with sleep meditation. You can also follow YouTube guided sleep meditation videos to do the process on your own.
The following are a few regular techniques that you can follow to fall asleep easily.
As you lie down on the bed, close your eyes and start counting backward from 100. Your mind may deviate and you may also lose track of the counting. Do not worry and restart at 100 once again. You do not need to feel that you are going wrong as you are losing track. It is just a way to focus and nothing else matters.
For this, you need to focus on a single thing. It can be someone’s photograph on the wall or a painting or even a candle flame. Make sure everything that you choose to focus on has a soothing effect on your eyes.
For example, the paintings should preferably be in soothing colors such as green fields or the night sky. Now you have to focus on your present thoughts and restrict your mind from diverting away from the picture.
You can create a personal mantra or follow a guided meditation for their mantra. Concentrate on this particular phrase and keep chanting it repeatedly. It can be any line but make sure you are not giving your brain the scope to think about anything else.
This is the “life force” technique of sleep meditation. In this, you have to focus on your breathing. However, the breathing pattern is different and you have to inhale and exhale both, through your nostrils. This creates a cyclic activity in the brain which, as a result, helps to clear all other thoughts. You will now feel relaxed and fall asleep easily.
5. Alternate breathing
This is like a part of the previous Pranayama process. We call this breathing with alternate nostrils. You have to close your left nostril with the ring finger of your right hand. Now inhale with your right nostril till the count of 4. Repeat the same process with the other nostril and left hand. Do it for 5-6 minutes before bed.
Meditation and yoga heal the body and mind from within. Practicing meditation for a prolonged period will change the kind of person you are. You will be more at peace with yourself and with everyone else around you. Starting a journey towards peace indeed sounds difficult but you will acquire everything soon. This article is everything you need to know about meditation for sleep.
How can I meditate to sleep?
Meditation is a great way to sleep healthy and there is a whole process that you must follow.
- Lay on the bed with your face up and mark all those points in the body that touches the bed.
- Take 4-5 deep breaths.
- Close your eyes and raise your eyebrows in a surprise expression and relax again.
- Inhale and shrug your shoulders. Now exhale and relax.
- Inhale, squint your eyes and wrinkle your nose and relax again.
Does meditation help with sleep?
Mindful meditation is a practice that helps to calm the mind and focus only on your breathing. It reduces stress and helps treat insomnia in a lot of people. This meditation helps to keep your mind in the present state so that you do not think about the past or future. Relax and let go of things that disturb you. this will help you to sleep well.
Does headspace help you sleep?
Headspace is designed in the form of an app which helps people with sleep disorders and insomnia. The app highlights free guided meditation for sleep, sleep music and the sounds of nature. These can calm you down and result in a good night’s sleep.
What to do when you can’t sleep?
There are a few things that you should keep in mind if you want to sleep well at night. For example, try to sleep in comfortable and darkroom. You should make sure there is no noise in your bedroom and of course, keep your bed clean. Try to stay away from digital devices and do something relaxing at least half an hour before sleeping. Drinking caffeinated drinks can disturb your sleep too.
How do you fall asleep in 30 seconds?
To get to sleep within half a minute, you should just inhale for about 4 seconds and then hold the breath for 7 seconds. Now exhale through the mouth for about 8 seconds. Counting numbers in particular patterns also work like magic. It helps to relax your mind and body and there you can fall asleep within 30 seconds.
Why am I not sleeping through the night?
You will not be able to sleep through the night if you have a sleep disorder such as insomnia. It can be a result of various factors such as medication side-effects, jet-lag, excessive consumption of caffeine or too much stress. Depression and anxiety are other mental or emotional disorders that can affect your sleep.
Why do I keep waking at 3 am?
If you wake up at 3 am continuously every night, it means there can be a problem with the flow of energy in your body. There is an energy meridian that passes through the lungs and reaches the part of your brain that can sense sadness. Try some deep, slow breathing or do some chanting softly. This will calm you down and help you to fall asleep again.
How can I stay asleep the whole night?
You need sound sleep so that you do not wake up at night in the middle. Try meditation for sleep which works like magic. Do not think about anything that will excite you or make you angry. Try to listen to some soft and soothing music and think about good things. Avoid rich and oily foods or caffeine at night. These react inside the body and can make you feel uneasy.
Does tossing and turning count as sleep?
Tossing and turning are signs of distraction when you are trying to sleep well. These activities cause interruption and you may wake up in a bad mood. Not sleeping well makes you feel irritated and stressed throughout the day. Practice meditation for sleep and anxiety to resolve this problem.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
The most common warning signs of sleep apnea include the following-
- Snoring loudly
- Waking frequently at night
- Paused breathing
- Headache in the morning
- Gasping or choking sounds
- Fatigue during the daytime
Why am I kicking in my sleep?
Activities such as punching or kicking are a result of a sleep disorder. Such problems are usually a result of excessive smoking, use of pesticides or head injuries. REM, which stands for Rapid Eye Movement, is a sleep disorder in which there is an imbalance in the muscle functioning. This results in people reacting or acting out their dreams in a state of sound sleep.
How do you not toss and turn at night?
To avoid sleep interruption, maintain a constant pattern. This means that you should go to bed immediately when you are feeling sleepy. Also, you should fix the time at which you will go to bed and also the constant time at which you wake up. Try to relax and calm down your thoughts before bed and practice some night time meditation for sleep.