If your new years resolution is to bag yourself some more sleep then you may be exploring some different methods to get you off to the land of nod. If you’ve been researching ways to help you sleep then there is a good chance you’ve stumbled across the benefits of meditation. Indeed, the likelihood is that you already know about meditation. However, the million-dollar question is can meditation help you sleep? In this article we will explore how meditation can help you sleep and how to start putting it into practice.
For many people the underlying cause of sleeplessness is stress. Without a doubt it is difficult getting to sleep when your mind is racing with the day’s stresses and worries. Indeed, meditation is a centuries old practice that has been proven to calm the mind. By quieting the mind, you can aid the relaxation process which is crucial to sleep.
When we meditate our bodies go through a range of physiological changes which can help to initiate sleep. As already mentioned above the main benefit of meditation is that it can be used to turn down a 'buzzing' mind. Furthermore, the more you practice meditating the more powerful it becomes. Studies have even proved that meditation can help to lower cortisol, the stress hormone. Furthermore, studies have also shown that meditation can increase the production of melatonin. This is the hormone that causes you to feel drowsy on a night. What’s more, not only can meditation help you sleep but you will reap other benefits too. For example, you should find an overall reduction in your daily stress levels, and you could even suffer less chronic pain too.
Now we have established that meditation can help you sleep you now to need to know how to meditate effectively. The good news is that mediation is easy to learn, and the only thing required is patience. Remember meditation is not a magic bullet and does require effort on the individual’s behalf.
Make sure the environment is correct – to meditate successfully you should ensure that your environment is conducive to relaxation. Therefore, you might want to dim the lights and block out any noise.
Wear something comfortable – to meditate you want to be as relaxed as possible.
Choose a comfortable posture – you might want to sit in a comfortable chair or even lay on your bed
Choose the style of meditation you want to use – There are several different styles of mediation. For example, guided meditation is ideal if you’re a complete beginner and are unsure of where to start. There are several apps that you can use to help with this. You can read about different types of meditation here
Start with a small amount of time – Mediation takes practice, and it often feels quite difficult at first. Therefore, we would recommend starting with 5 minutes and then building it up in blocks of 5 minutes. We advise trying to build up to meditating for 20 minutes
Practice makes perfect – Meditation is just like exercise, the more you do the better you get at it.
Practice daily – Even if you only manage to meditate for 5 minutes daily it is important to be consistent.