Thoughts, creative thinking, and the power of imagination are fascinating unless you are under your covers and trying to get a good night's sleep. Imagine you have a significant day tomorrow. You go to your bed prepared, but you cannot sleep, no matter how hard you try. Thoughts are juggling through your mind, and you are stressing about having a lousy, unproductive day. Don't worry; this is very common and happens to most of us. : Different studies revealed that between 10% to 30% of adults have insomnia at any given point in time and up to 50% -60% have insomnia in a given year.
There could be several reasons behind this - everyday stress, hectic schedules, excessive usage of gadgets, lifestyle choices, etc. All these factors contribute to a damaged sleep cycle. Having said that, irregular or lack of sleep can lead to the risk of heart disease or chronic illness. It may also lead to impairments in the eyes, short term and long term deprivation in memory, decision making, attention or reaction time. On the other hand, a good sleep gives you clarity of thoughts, increases your productivity and attention span.
Meditation at your rescue!
It is essential to have 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep. Now the question is, how do you achieve it? Should you consult a doctor, or is there any other way to achieve calmness and inner peace that lets you relax your mind and brain and sush the thoughts that keep you awake. Well, the answer is, "yes." Multiple studies suggest that meditation has helped people achieve sound sleep.
A study published a few years ago in JAMA Internal Medicine included 49 middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems. Half completed a mindfulness-based awareness program that taught them meditation and other practices designed to help them focus on their "current experiences, thoughts, and emotions." The other half completed a sleep education course to learn how to improve their sleep habits. Both groups met 6 times a week for 2 hours. As a result, at the end of the six sessions, people in the mindfulness group had less Insomnia, malaise, and depression than people in the sleep education group.
Mindfulness meditation helps you focus on your breathing, train your everyday thoughts and evoke a relaxation response. Although there is no set pattern and the sleepmeditations are very simple, you can keep certain aspects in mind while doing meditation before going to bed. The first step is to choose a place that is quiet, calm, dark (if you are not scared) and free of distractions. Get into a comfortable position and make sure you have everything you might need.
Choosing the right technique
The next step includes choosing a suitable meditation technique. If you are new to meditation, you might be a bit confused about which one to go for. Well, you might have to experiment with a few techniques to find out what works best for you. Let’s go over some popular meditation techniques:
1. Yoga Nidra or Body Scan
In this meditation technique, you will be asked to lie down, focus on each part of your body, suggesting it to relax. This will release any soreness in the muscles, helping you relax and taking you towards a good night's sleep.
2. Visualisation Meditation
Do you feel you are good at imagination? If the answer is yes, this meditation technique is for you. This meditation practice asks you to visualise an image or a scene that makes you feel happy and relaxed, calming your mind. It is like hypnosis, definitely a good kind, taking you towards sound sleep.
3. Breathing Meditation
This is very simple. What's the basic thumb rule for good sleep? You are tired, and you will sleep well. This involves first regulating and counting your breathing and then eventually slowing it down, which gives a tiring effect on your body. This meditation takes your mind from distracting thoughts, relaxing your body and eventually leading you towards a sound sleep.
4. Sleep Stories
Remember when we were kids, and our parents recited those fairy tales, and we would get the best sleep. Just thinking of this gives a feeling of nostalgia. Well, as kids we were not this stressed and we cannot remove that from our lives, but we can definitely go back to those stories. These stories take you to a dreamy place setting aside all your worries, which helps you sleep better.
Now, this is a widespread and most used technique for sleep. You may be asked to count numbers during this meditation, eventually slowing your mind and directing it towards rest. The most used is sheep counting.
Now that you are aware of the different techniques of meditation that can help you treat your Insomnia, find the best suited for you by practising them daily. Go ahead, make it a routine, find a comfortable environment, get into your meditation posture and let meditation do its magic.
Other benefits of meditation
Doing meditation before sleep can help you in many other ways than just treating Insomnia. It is one of the best age-old techniques for a healthy living. It helps you
Increase your productivity
Reduce chronic pain.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Improve decision making
So what are you waiting for! Start your mindfulness journey without delay, allow your mind to breathe, stay calm, be more productive and have a sound and well-rested sleep schedule. And if you are wondering where to start your journey, try 'Idanim'. This meditation app hosts a variety of meditation techniques by highly experienced teachers/gurus from all across the world.