(all you need to know)
If you suffer from insomnia , or tend to have a restless sleep that doesn’t make you feel rested when you wake up, you probably already know how much this disorder can negatively affect everyday life.
The meditation can become a portentous help to promote restful sleep naturally and without the use of drugs. In this guide we will find out how to make the most of it to sleep peacefully and learn the most effective techniques to achieve deep relaxation.
Why can’t we sleep well?
Sleeping is one of the fundamental parts of the cycle of life and is at the basis of man’s essential needs: constant and lasting deprivation of sleep can lead to serious imbalances both physically and mentally.
Fighting insomnia is not easy, in fact the remedy depends a lot on the triggering causes, which can be both physical and (in most cases) psychological : thoughts that keep us awake, problems that require a solution to which we are not yet arrived or situations to which there seems to be no way out.
It goes without saying that the key to being able to sleep well is relaxation , but those who find themselves in these situations cannot always reach the state of tranquility necessary for a good restful sleep. Indeed, very often the anxiety of not being able to sleep creates a vicious circle that further fuels the problem.
Meditation acts mainly on the mental and psychological side of insomnia, inducing our mind to calm thoughts and signaling to our body that it is time to let go and relax for the night.
Benefits of Sleep Meditation
As I have already told you, the most important result that this technique involves is a state of deep relaxation and the production of the hormone that regulates our sleep .
This achievement affects and improves the quality of the hours we spend sleeping.
The greatest benefits for our health come from quality sleep.
Sleeping well means :
- Increase the immune defenses
- Increase memory and concentration
- Extend your life
- Relieve stress
- Protect yourself from hormonal problems
- Increase your performance in sports performance
How to do Sleep Meditation
Prepare the room
The environment in which you sleep has a profound effect on the quality of your sleep: a room that is too hot can make the difference between a restful sleep and a restless night’s sleep, as our body operates a process called thermoregulation on a 24-hour circadian cycle. . Lowering your body temperature at night helps you fall asleep better, while raising your temperature signals your body to move.
Light sources are another very important aspect, as they affect our sleep and wake cycles: if you have the habit of keeping the shutters open during the night, try closing them or getting blackout curtains. You will notice the difference!
The location of your bed can also play a significant role in your comfort (you can read our feng shui article to learn more).
In summary, before going to bed make sure that the room you sleep in has the following requirements:
- A temperature ideally between 15 and 21 degrees
- The ability to create total darkness by closing the shutters, using blackout curtains and turning off or covering any device that emits light
- A comfortable and well located bed
If you wish, you can also help yourself with aromatherapy by placing an essential oil diffuser in the room.
Now that we have made sure that the environment in which we sleep is conducive to sleep, the goal is to lie down in bed and try to relax.
You can help yourself with relaxing and calm music , or an audio that reproduces the sounds of nature such as the lapping of the waves of the sea, the sounds of the forest or the flow of a river.
Everyone relaxes with different sounds, so feel free to explore more options. The only rule is that the audio is kept at a very low volume. If no particular sound helps you, you can do without it. But make sure your room is quiet enough.
The ideal position is not easy to find: habits, body size, pain and physical condition are all factors that influence it, so each person has their own favorite posture.
A comfortable position at the beginning can be uncomfortable after a few minutes – so look for one that you know you can hold for a long time without getting bored. Ideally speaking, the most comfortable position is the supine position, with the hands in the lap or resting on the thighs: in this way the body is stretched out on its wider side and the hands rise and fall with the respiratory rhythm, inducing a sense of relaxation even in the rest of the body.
If this position is not congenial to you, you can always choose another one, but remember that the more natural and relaxed it is, the easier it will be for you to maintain it. No muscles should be strained, squeezed, or bent.
If you feel the need to change position while you are falling asleep, try to do it as slowly as possible and following the rhythm of your breathing, without forcing it or breaking it.
For some it helps a lot to visualize positive places and experiences, such as a beach, a forest or even just the feeling of being lying on the grass: if you think this can help you, try to focus on the feelings of pleasure you would experience if you were really in that place. , adjusting the rhythm of the breath accordingly.
The breathing is the most important stage of this meditation to sleep: in normal sleep, breathing slows down gradually until it becomes smooth and deep. It is usually a natural process for someone trying to fall asleep, but we will try to do it consciously.
Start by mentally analyzing your body to identify areas of tension. Make a mental note of which parts of your body feel more tense than others.
Now take a deep breath.
Breathe out slowly, expelling any tension.
Once you are even slightly relaxed, begin to slow down the pace of your breathing: slower and deeper, but without straining it excessively.
Now is the time to clear your mind to sleep.
Notice how your body feels: where is today’s tension stored? Focus your attention on the part you feel most tense. Focus on a small area, inhale deeply and then let that tension go as you exhale.
Notice where your body feels most relaxed. Let that relaxed feeling build with each breath. Spread it to all your muscles, expanding it with your breath.
Feel the tension slowly ebb as calm spreads.
Now start counting slowly from one to ten, feeling the feeling of calm and relaxation that amplifies after each number.
As you count, you will fall into deep relaxation. Now you can allow your mind to fall asleep in a pleasant and restorative sleep.
By following this procedure as calmly as possible and trying to ward off overwhelming thoughts through conscious breathing , the sleep meditation will take effect, finally bringing you to the longed for sleep.
Other measures you can follow to facilitate sleep can be adequate physical activity during the day, a hot shower before bed and a light meal in the evening: the consumption of hard-to-digest foods at dinner is counterproductive for those suffering from insomnia.
Another phytotherapeutic measure can be the intake of melatonin , the hormone that regulates the rhythm of sleep in our body. Remember to ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
Breathing is the key to peaceful sleep: learn to control it and you will have the most powerful tool for a great rest.