Unfortunately, many of us don't get the quality sleep we need. Meditations, sleepscapes and sleep sounds create the perfect conditions for restful sleep.
Meditation quiets the mind & body while enhancing inner peace. When done before bedtime, it can promote overall calmness resulting in a better night's sleep. There are a few different styles of meditation, and experimentation can help you to find the right fit for you.
The most popular form of meditation, mindfulness meditation involves simply paying attention to your body—and nothing else. This practice teaches you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity, and calm both your mind and body. It combines meditation with the practice of mindfulness, which can be defined as a mental state that involves being fully focused on "the now" so you can acknowledge and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. If your thoughts wander to something outside the present moment, just observe that and try to steer yourself back to being mindful without judging yourself.
Learn how to practice this type of meditation HERE.
In guided meditation, you listen to another person who leads you through your meditation practice. It offers a natural sleep aid all on its own, allowing us to let go of the day—everything that’s happened and everything that’s been said — so that we can rest the mind while simultaneously resting the body.
Check out a short, guided sleep meditation HERE.
Relaxing Breath Meditation
Practicing calming pranayama, or breathing exercises can help you fall asleep. Look for a meditative guided pranayama practice or try this simple breathing practice called alternative nostril breathing. You can practice before bedtime and whenever you want to cultivate a sense of calm and balance.
Here is how to do it:
Begin by sitting comfortably. With your right hand, rest the tip of your index finger and middle finger in between your eyebrows. If this isn't comfortable, you may relax the fingers towards the palm, gently tucking them in. Or allow these fingers to simply float or hang in front of your forehead.
Close off your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale slowly through your left nostril the way to the top of your breath. Then use your ring and pinky fingers to close off your left nostril.
Release your thumb and slowly exhale through your right nostril (all the way to the bottom of your breath. Then inhale through your right nostril all the way to the top of your breath.
Now place your thumb back over your right nostril, and release your ring and pinky fingers to exhale through your left nostril all the way to the bottom of your breath.
Repeat this pattern for a few rounds. Remember that this is an effortless, continuous flow of the breath with no controlled pauses.
Give yourself the gift of a good night’s rest by practicing meditation before sleep. Whether you try a guided meditation or a breathing exercise before you doze off, a daily meditation practice before bed may help you fall—and stay—asleep.
Happy meditating and sweet dreams!