Clear your head and let go of the events of the day: Many swear by meditation for sleep, especially in stressful times. If you often lie awake in the evening and are looking for a way to finally stop the merry-go-round of your thoughts, the ancient relaxation technique could be interesting for you as well. We will tell you how to best prepare for meditating in the evening and give you tips on how to build up the necessary focus for meditation.
- Meditation to fall asleep – Does it really do anything?
- Meditation to fall asleep – The right preparation is crucial
- For beginners: guided meditation to fall asleep
Meditation for sleep – Does it really do anything?
A meditation for sleep, is that really useful? People who regularly struggle with falling asleep and who often drag themselves to work in the morning with heavy eyelids might initially be sceptical about the effectiveness of this method. Fortunately, researchers have been asking themselves the same question and have subjected the traditional practice to rigorous scrutiny in several studies published in 2015. The pleasing result: meditation for sleep actually works and can even improve the quality of sleep!
But why is that so? If you consider that excessive stress is the number one cause for sleep problems, and that meditating in the evening helps to calm circling thoughts and to prepare the body for relaxation, you are a lot closer to the solution. The state of inner peace that comes with meditation slows down your heartbeat and lowers your blood pressure – ideal conditions for falling asleep quickly and calmly.
Meditation for sleep – The right preparation is crucial
It is important to know: As helpful as meditation for sleep is in itself, the technique is considerably unsuitable as an immediate measure or last-minute fix. The reason is, that meditating requires a certain amount of attentiveness and the right atmosphere. If you are already sleeplessly rolling back and forth on your mattress, it is usually not worthwhile to start meditating because your mind and body are too tired and distracted. The right preparation is therefore essential if you are new to meditation. The following tips help you in initiating a relaxed meditation to help you fall asleep:
- Have you ever wondered why many people sit in front of a candle while meditating? Subdued lighting promotes a relaxed atmosphere and helps to mask disturbing factors. At least half an hour before your bedtime, make sure that all electronic devices in the bedroom, such as your smartphone, laptop and TV, are switched off. Artificial light inhibits the melatonin production and signals the body to stay awake – the exact opposite of what you want to achieve with your meditation.
- Use your meditation for falling asleep as a beneficial ritual, followed by rest and sleep. If you think of unfinished things, you should cross them off your to-do-list before going to bed, so that your mind can really let go while meditating and is not busy with your everyday life.
- Like any new skill, meditation requires practice and repetition. Do not be too impatient and approach your goal in small steps to avoid frustration. For example, at the beginning you may decide to meditate for five minutes at a time and increase the duration by one minute every few evenings until you reach about 20 minutes. This is how long our body needs to relax completely.
For beginners: guided meditation to help you fall asleep
From body scans to special breathing and mindfulness exercises to active yoga: there are many meditation techniques. For beginners a guided meditation for falling asleep is especially suitable, in which a voice prepares you for the meditation and gives you instructions that you just need to follow. By concentrating on the voice of the teacher, your own thoughts are automatically pushed into the background and it is easier for you to get away from the daily routine and slide into a meditative state. On video platforms like YouTube you will find many examples of guided meditations – just choose a video that suits your taste or ask your friends for recommendations.
Another way to relax in the evening and build up the focus for a meditation to fall asleep is to listen to relaxing music. Here too, video and music streaming platforms are an excellent source and offer a whole range of different soothing sounds! The relaxed sounds stimulate your subconscious and strengthen the ritual character of your meditation. You should try out different meditation variations to find one that works for you and effectively helps you fall asleep. It is equally important not to force yourself to sleep: If you can’t concentrate on meditating in the evening, it is okay to stop and try again the next day. If you integrate meditation into your everyday life and practice mindfulness outside your bedtime as well, you will find it much easier to identify and avoid your stress triggers – then hopefully the restful night’s sleep will work itself out!