When we talk about healthy sleep, then it comprises a number of hours of sleep and quality of rest. Sleep meditation allows you to develop a required inner condition that would help you to rest at night. When you rest your body and settle your mind, then it becomes easier for you to drift away into sleep. You can say that it’s easier said than done. Today, we’ll discuss what is meditation for sleep; statistics of the sleep deprivation epidemic, the benefits of sleep meditation, and how to meditate.
Many research studies have shown that meditation reduces the heartbeat by encouraging slow breathing and sparking the parasympathetic nervous system. It results in the form of better quality sleep at night. Guided meditation also offers you many new techniques and tools in order to relax your mind and body, so that you could achieve restfulness.
What is Meditation for sleep?
Meditation teaches you to be aware and mindful of the current moment and not to focus on other thoughts in your head. When our body is at the restful position on the bed, then our mind drifts away and gets entangled in the web of thoughts.
The meditation for sleep is a particular guided experience and technique that allows you to have a natural sleep by letting go of all daytime thoughts. Leaving whatever people have said things, did, or happened, and then it would help you to rest your mind along with your resting body.
Statistics of Sleep Deprivation Epidemic
Sleep is an important element in our lives along with shelter, food, and drink for the wellbeing of mind and body. Society doesn’t treat the sleep same as other basic needs. Some of the main statistics are as follows;
- According to a study, approximately 40% of the American people sleep less than 7 hours per night.
- Another study by Gallup Poll reported that 30% of the people find it difficult to have proper sleep every month
- Roundabout 6% of the people say that they go through insomnia almost every night
- People spend approximately 58 billion dollars on sleep aids medicines in 2014, and the figure has increased to 76.7 billion dollars in 2019.
Some people brag about their ability to work without sleep. There are many phrases spread around the world like you’ll sleep when you die, or you’ll lose if you snooze. Nowadays, some of the healthy lifestyle trends are changing this type of mindset.
Why People Can’t Sleep?
Approximately half of the population can’t sleep or stay up at night, it doesn’t they don’t want to sleep. It’s because of many factors like lifestyle choices or other biological factors. Once you lie down on the bed, various thoughts rush into it and occupy your mind. They have already been there in your mind; it’s just life routine distraction didn’t raise them up. Once your mind gets free, they come back and don’t let you sleep.
Technology and tech products are playing a major role in disturbing our sleep cycle. Approximately 90% of the American people use their smartphones before or during their sleep hours by watching videos, reading memes, or playing video games. In fact, many people keep their phones under their pillows while going to sleep. It distracts their sound sleep every time it rings up or vibrates for notification.
According to research, if you use more tech devices during the day or at night, the more it would be difficult for you to go to sleep.
Benefits of Sleep Meditation
Having better and quality sleep is one of the main benefits of meditation. Some of the other benefits are as follows;
- Decreasing inflammation
- Improving the condition and health of the heart
- Controlling the high blood pressure issues
- Improves the response towards pain
- Decreases the craving for tobacco and other addiction
- Improving cognition
- Amplifying your focus
- Reduces stress and anxiety
How it works/Meditation for Sleep
When you practice meditation, then it brings a lot of physical changes to your body. Those changes impact your sleep and various other processes in your body. According to a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found that mindfulness meditation practice impacted 49 people that were having sleep issues.
The study assigned random people to meditate for 6 weeks. After the research study, people have a lower level of daytime fatigue and insomnia symptoms. Researchers have found that meditation helps a person in many ways. Mental stress and anxiety cause sleep deprivation issues, and meditation help you to relax your mind by improving the control of your nervous system. Meditation also performs the following functions;
- Activating parts of your brain that manage sleep
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Lowers the heart rate
- Amplifying serotonin and melatonin
You will start experiencing changes in your sleep in the early stages, and further meditation would improve your sleep.
How to Meditate for Sleep
Meditation doesn’t require any special equipment and tools; you can practice it at any time wherever you are. If you want to experience more benefits of meditation, then you should make time for meditation and practice it regularly. Some of the main steps of meditation for sleep are as follows;
- Look for quiet and peaceful, either sit or lie down, however you feel comfortable
- Shut your eyes, and start inhaling/exhaling slow breaths, and focus on breathing
- If thoughts enter you, change your focus on breathing and let them go
It’s important to mention it here that meditation is a practice, you should start it in 3 minutes, and then keep on increasing your meditation time. It requires a lot of time to quiet the thoughts in your mind. Anyways, some of the main meditation practices are as follows;
Mindfulness meditation practice means focusing on your body, mind, and the current moment. If an idea or thought enters your mind, let it go; some of the main steps in mindfulness meditation practice are as follows;
- You should lie down in a relaxed and comfortable position and shut down all the distracting devices like phones, etc.
- Focus on your breathing, start inhaling and exhaling, and count to 10, and then repeat the process
- When you inhale, hold your breath for a moment, pause and tense, and then exhale and relax your body
- Focus on your breathing and body, if your body is tense, then consciously relax it
- If a thought pops up, then change your focus on breathing
Guided meditation means when you practice meditation under the guidance of the other person. The guide teaches you to inhale, exhale, pause your breath, and focus on breathing. The guided meditation could be in the form of audio/video recording, you should practice the exact steps whatever they’re telling. Some of the main steps in guided meditation are as follows;
- You should choose the recording whatever you want to play, lower the brightness of your phone
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
- You should focus on the audio of the recording and keep practicing it
Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation means you should focus on the physical sensation of your body like pain and tension. Some of the main steps in body scan meditation are as follows;
- Turn off all the notification devices in your room and lie down or sit in a comfortable position
- Shut your eyes and start breathing slowly and observe your body weight on the bed
- Focus on your facial muscles, eyes, jaws, and relax them
- Go down and focus on your shoulders and neck and loosen them up
- Keep focusing on all parts of the body one by one and lose the tension in them
- If your mind gets distracted, get your focus back on your body, and repeat the process
Potential Risks of Meditation
The side effects of meditation are rare. If a person has a history of mental illness, then meditation could cause some side effects. Some of the risks are as follows;
- Intense changes in your mood
- Higher stress and anxiety levels
Conclusion: Meditation for Sleep – Benefits & How to Meditate
After an in-depth study of what is meditation for sleep; its benefits, side effects, and various meditation techniques, we’ve realized that meditation is the best medicine for sleep issues. If you’ve sleep issues, then follow and practice the abovementioned techniques to have control over your mind.
Ahsan is an accomplished researcher and has a deep insight in worldly life affairs. He goes Live 3 days a week on various social media platforms. Other than research writing, he’s a very interesting person.