By Krista (Guest Writer) –
Having trouble falling asleep? You’re hardly alone: 60 million American adults suffer from insomnia.
But there’s hope, and it doesn’t come via a sleeping pill or prescription. It’s called meditation, and if you think it includes chanting and sitting cross legged, think again. Meditation is actually a simple yet powerful mind control technique that can quiet racing and negative thoughts and help lull you to sleep quicker.
Here’s a look at how meditation can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
What is Meditation, Anyway?
Meditation is simply focusing on your breathing and thoughts so that you remain focused on the present moment and you’re not worrying about anything that occurred in the past or what is yet to come in the future.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and it requires no special tools, clothing, or equipment. You can meditate while lying down in your bed or sitting upright in your favorite chair—it’s your preference.
You also don’t need any special instruction to meditate. At its very basic form, all you have to do is focus on your breathing—many people prefer to breathe in through their nose and exhale through their mouth—and simply acknowledging any thoughts that crop up and letting them pass.
Many people, however, prefer guided meditations and these are beneficial because they help your mind focus on positive thoughts and beliefs. You will find thousands of guided meditations by doing a simple search on YouTube. Many have been designed to help you attract love, money, friendships, and abundance into your life. Their narrator will also tell you how to breathe and what to envision during the meditation.
Guided meditations are wonderful for helping to focus your mind on positive thoughts and goals before you drift off to sleep. Meditation also mimics the first of the five stages of sleep, helping you feel drowsy.
Meditation Helps Older Adults Sleep Better
A 2012 study of adults age 55 and older with recurring sleep disturbance found that daily mindfulness meditation helped them sleep better through the night and helped decrease depression. However, meditation can benefit people of all ages, including children and help them sleep more soundly.
Meditation Helps Lower Stress
Meditation is also useful in decreasing blood pressure and reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and histamine. Decreasing stress is important when falling asleep, because worrying thoughts can keep us awake. It’s also been shown to relieve anxiety.
Make Meditation a Nightly Bedtime Practice
Take time for a meditation session before you’re ready to turn in for more restful sleep. Meditation practiced any time of the day can also contribute towards quality sleep as it creates a sense of calm that will permeate your daily life.
If you’re looking for more tips to help you fall asleep faster, read about our five natural remedies for sleep.