It’s commonly known that meditation improves your ability to rest, with the results of sleep studies to support the belief being published almost every other day. However, many people are unsure as to how exactly meditation helps you get a better night’s sleep. Meditation can help you get the quality night’s sleep that you deserve by:
1. Aiding Stress Relief
Meditation tackles one of the biggest inhibitors of sleep – stress. This is particularly helpful, as stress can prevent you from sleeping, which in turn affects your body’s regulation of stress hormones, making you even more tense and worried. However, during meditation you concentrate solely on the present, picking a focus such as your breathing. In doing so, you’re letting go of concerns about the past and future, which helps trigger a relaxation response. This has a physical effect upon your body, slowing down your heart rate, in turn reducing your blood pressure (which is necessary for restful sleep) and reducing muscle tension.
2. Initiating Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a common meditation technique and can help you fall asleep much faster. This involves tensing each of your muscle groups for 5-10 seconds, and then relaxing them one by one, on an exhale. Meditation works much like stretching, helping to decrease muscle tension and preparing your body for sleep. In fact, the method has been recommended by doctors for treating symptoms in a number of conditions, such as high blood pressure, headaches and digestive disturbances.
3. Establishing a Routine
Most of those who practise meditation do so at night, as a way to de-stress before bed. This actually further increases the relaxation effect of meditation, as having a familiar night time routine is proven to better soothe you to sleep. Repeating the motions every night lets your body know it’s time to unwind for bed. Like anything worth doing, practice makes perfect!
Top Meditation Tip
If you’d like to try out basic meditation, simply set aside 15 minutes of your day and choose a comfortable position. Next, close your eyes and focus on a soothing sound, such as your breathing or relaxing music. While it’s normal for your mind to wander, try to bring your attention back to your focus when you notice this happening.