Raise your hand if you struggle to sleep sometimes. *all hands go up* We hear you! If you don’t have sleep issues, you likely know someone who does. 50-70 million Americans deal with sleep-related problems, so it’s no wonder. But what gives? Stress, anxiety, overwhelm can definitely take a toll on your sleeping habits. However, here’s where sleep meditation can come in to save your snoozes.
Sleep…meditation? Yep! You heard that right. It’s absolutely possible to meditate yourself to sleep. And yes, it’s as blissful as it sounds. Read on!
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What is Guided Sleep Meditation?
But let’s get to the good stuff. What exactly is guided sleep meditation? It’s a proven method for releasing any worries or overwhelm you’re taking with you to bed and instead completely relaxing into a deep slumber. Very similar to typical meditation, it works by directing your focus away from your thoughts and to the sensations in your body. But there’s no one way to do it!
There are many different ways to successfully complete a sleep meditation, like deep breathing, guided imagery, and focusing on various body parts. We talk more about those below!
The Benefits of Meditation For Sleep
The happiest, healthiest people quickly realize that life is all about living in today. It’s about staying in the moment and enjoying the little things like eating food, hanging out with friends, and even exercising. However, a lot of things in the world right now work to take you out of the present, like social media, anxiety over the future, and worrying about things that are out of your control.
Eventually, this stress catches up to you, the thoughts become too much, and it affects your sleep. And if you’ve ever meditated before, you know how just bringing your mind back to what’s happening now, is relaxing in itself. This is the whole idea behind guided meditation for sleep. We’ve all been there. Right when your head hits the pillow, a tsunami of thoughts flood your entire mind. But meditating and coming back to the moment? Perfectly counteracts this.
The science goes even deeper though. In the process of calming your mind, your nervous system starts to relax, and your stress response turns off. Rather, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for lowering heart rate, blood pressure and slowing down breathing. It’s known for all of the “rest and digest” processes, like sleep and absorbing nutrients. Basically, it’s your body’s ultimate relaxation mode, which is super ideal for sleep.
One study found that meditation for sleep had a significant reduction for those with insomnia. And another study found that those who meditated regularly stayed asleep longer and improved their overall insomnia symptoms, compared to those who didn’t meditate at all. Sleep meditation for the win!
How Guided Sleep Meditations Work
There’s never a one-size-fits-all meditation solution. So try not to get discouraged if you do a guided sleep meditation but still struggle to relax. It might take a couple of tries and different techniques before you find your slumber sweet spot. Use these methods for reference!
Different Types of Sleep Meditations
This involves focusing on each inhale and exhale, slowing down the breath to a nice, deep rhythm. It helps to signal the body that it’s time to sleep! For some guided deep breathing, try adding this FitOn Daily Breath meditation to your evening routine to calm your nervous system with the breath.
Your meditation guide will ask you to visualize or picture in your mind’s eye a particularly relaxing scene, like a beach, which then sends you into a hypnosis-like state. Talk about relaxing! Try this FitOn Visualize Calmness meditation that will take you on a visualization journey. Expect to feel beautiful imagery and feelings of understanding and calmness.
Mindful Body Scanning
Progressive muscle relaxation at its finest. You’ll focus on tensing, releasing, and breathing into various muscles and body parts. To practice this, try this FitOn Deep Body Relax meditation.
When stressed, you often go into scarcity mode and start panicking about all the things going wrong in life. But when you’re in a state of gratitude, you can’t help but think of all the things that are going right — perfect for easing into sleep. To compliment your evening routine, try this FitOn Evening Gratitude Practice.
Count sheep much? This is the same concept to help break any anxious thought patterns that keep popping up. Instead, you’re just focusing on counting.
If you’re in a high state of stress, silence might not be the best option for you. However, if you’re more experienced in meditation and guiding your own focus, sitting in silence might be just what you need after a long, busy day.
Getting Started With Guided Sleep Meditations
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or expert meditator. Getting started with sleep meditations is so simple! All it takes is a willingness to learn and a little bit of patience. FitOn offers free guided sleep meditations. Try one out when you get in bed tonight and see how you feel! All you have to do is press play and put it where you can hear. And then let the deep sleep roll in. Here’s to waking up totally refreshed tomorrow morning!