Sleep is essential for our well-being. As adults, it’s recommended we get at least eight hours sleep per night, and if we don’t, we’re likely to feel less productive the next day.
One technique I’ve been using with great results for better sleep is meditation. This surprised me, as a lot of meditation guides and books state never to meditate before bed, as it might perk you up and make falling asleep more difficult.
However, after using it for some time now, I've found my body and mind react to meditation differently depending on what time of day I use it. But no matter what, I find the state of mind it puts me in leads to better sleep. Here are some of the ways you can use meditation to sleep better:
Use Mindful Meditation
One of the main benefits of meditation is its ability to help us lessen our mind’s activity. We've all been through the frustration of lying in bed doing mental math or thinking about past and future events. Falling asleep usually occurs when we've exhausted our mind through an overload of mental activity.
In my opinion, the above scenario reminds me of a child having a tantrum. They act out until they're completely shattered, and then they finally stop whining and fall asleep. I didn't particularly like the idea of going to sleep kicking and screaming, so I turned to a peaceful alternative: meditation.
I use mindfulness meditation, which requires simple observation of our senses and mind activity. Through observing how our body feels, what we can hear, see, smell, taste and touch, we bring our awareness into the present moment, stopping thoughts about the past and future from creating fear or regret.
After a period of mindfulness meditation of around 10 minutes, I find myself becoming very peaceful, and my mind gives up on trying to distract me. I then climb into bed and fall asleep far easier.
Listen to Relax Melodies
Another way to use mediation to help you sleep better is to listen to relaxing, ambient music like you would while meditating. I use the "Relax Melodies" app to help me sleep better, as I find that along with mindfulness meditation, its soothing sounds and audios help maintain healthy sleep.
If you travel a lot, you know it can often be hard to fall asleep on long distance journeys. For example, long flights usually involve sleeping at some point, and this app comes in super handy for these moments.
Being a tech and safety nerd, though, I like to ensure complete peace of mind so that I can fall asleep and experience deeper levels of sleep. To do this, I run my app through a secure network, which eliminates the risk of anyone accessing my phone while connected to public WiFi or unknown networks. It might seem like a small thing, but anything that brings peace of mind will ultimately make sleep easier and more restful.
Even though meditating before bed might not be recommended by some, I feel it is an effective tool to sleep better. Achieving the peace and tranquility of normal meditation sessions can make falling asleep a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.
Author Bio: Caroline is a health and tech blogger with a keen passion for mindfulness meditation. She enjoys spreading awareness for mindfulness in general, as it has numerous health and wellness benefits.