In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about sleep meditation and the potential that this type of therapy offers to help you recover those sweet nights of sleep. Good sleep is one of the fundamental pillars for optimal physical and mental health.
Among the many positive effects and benefits of meditative practice we can find help against insomnia problems At the same time that we will relax our body, we will learn to live in the present reducing stress and anxiety, meditation is a great ally to be able to sleep properly, fully resting body and mind.
The effects of spending a long night without being able to sleep significantly affect people’s well-being, they manifest themselves the next day with enormous fatigue and irritability that does not allow us to carry out all the proposed activities satisfactorily. Sleep disorders occur when these events recur frequently; these are directly associated with stress and anxiety that contribute to the deterioration of health, therefore.
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In this article you can read:
- 1. Meditation and insomnia
- 2. What is sleep meditation?
- 3. Aspects that disturb sleep
- 4. Meditation for deep sleep
- 5. Techniques You Can Use To Avoid Insomnia
- 5.1 Sahaj Samadhi meditation technique
- 5.2 Start a guided meditation
- 5.3 Try the “yogic dream”
- 6. Effective exercises to fall asleep
- 7. Meditation and Yoga Postures to Avoid Insomnia
- 8. What is a guided sleep meditation?
- 9. Some additional recommendations to get a good night’s sleep
Meditation and insomnia
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and you wake up tired, then you must have noticed that your ability to function effectively is diminished and that you feel tired and irritable for a long time. These are symptoms that indicate that you may be suffering from insomnia.
Short-term or transient, insomnia is very common and usually goes away on its own. However, insomnia is considered chronic if it persists beyond a few weeks. Insomnia arises mainly due to mental and emotional stress; Meditation in this case is particularly helpful in achieving adequate sleep .
What is_sleep meditation?
The meditation for sleep is a technique that can help in treating transient insomnia or chronic type. There is currently a large body of evidence that regular meditation can improve sleep patterns, often dramatically. Research indicates that the excited sympathetic nervous system is also a major causal factor in chronic insomnia. It follows that practices that reduce nervous system arousal , such as meditation, can be very effective in relieving insomnia.
Aspects that disturb sleep
Our nervous system is generally overly excited by various aspects, such as:
- The tension
- Overindulgence of stimulants
- Frequent consumption of tea and coffee
- Drug use
- Staying up late
- Rest for many hours during the day
- Getting too much stimulation from TV at night
- Sitting for long hours in front of a computer
- Bad eating habits that are not suitable for our body
However, these bad practices are not marked as a definite problem for insomnia or other sleep problems. To deal with this evil, it is recommended to carry out a self-study to identify the factors that are causing the problem. Perhaps you are stressed by work issues, or you have problems in your relationship, or there is some concern for a sick family member, etc. Although you may not be able to change these situations in your life, a good sleep meditation can help you change your reaction to stressors.
Deep sleep meditation
Before engaging in a sleep meditation practice , we advise you to seek the help of an experienced meditation teacher who can give you specific advice tailored to your situation.
This alternate sleep meditation consists of fixing the breath through the nostril and observing the breath. Follow these steps:
- Right before sleeping, sit comfortably on your bed and take a few gentle breaths.
- Let your palm of the left hand rest on the thigh and bring your right hand towards the nose
- Gently rest the index and middle fingers of the right hand above between the eyebrows and relax the shoulder and right arm
- Inhale through the left nostril, while with the thumb of your hand, you block the right nostril and then slowly exhale through both nostrils.
- Now block the left nostril with your thumb and exhale slowly through the right nostril.
Then inhale through the right and exhale through the left.
It is a turn; After a couple of rounds in a very relaxed way, you can measure the length of your inhale and exhale. Adjust your breath so that at the end it is about twice as long as your inhale. To do this, you may have to reduce your inhalation instead of prolonging its expiration. It is important not to force the process; allows the air to slide very smooth, comfortable and slow. After about five minutes, finish the current round and relax.
Now turn your attention to your natural breath and focus more on the outgoing breath. Easily and effortlessly, you should be aware of the outgoing breath and the natural pause at the end of the exhalation. Don’t deliberately try to change your natural breathing pattern in any way. Every time your mind wanders, try to refocus on the outgoing breath. Continue for 5 to 10 minutes and then relax; rest and enjoy the feeling of peace.
You can also use alternate nostril breathing if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.
Techniques you can use to avoid insomnia
Sahaj Samadhi meditation technique
It is an effortless practice that consists of the use of a primordial sound or mantra . This technique concludes in very deep states of relaxation and is a wonderful antidote to stress, tension, fatigue, and negative emotional states.
Performing it for 20 minutes twice a day, morning or afternoon and early evening , can help balance the nervous system and provide deeper sleep. It is during these periods of deep rest that the body and mind are able to heal and reverse the impact of physiological, biochemical, and emotional stress.
Start a guided meditation
The guided meditations can also greatly help relieve insomnia . Guided meditation CDs are available to everyone. These include Shanti meditation, Panchakosha meditation, Om meditation, and Om Hari meditation. There is also the possibility of taking a guided meditation online, which are available on the internet.
Try the “yogic dream”
The yogic sleep, also called Yoga Nidra is a great help for people who suffer from insomnia; This technique allows to obtain an understanding of different parts of the body in a lying position, especially if it is practiced just before sleeping. Learn more about yoga nidra .
Effective exercises to fall asleep
Exercise No. 1. It is the use of a simple and very effective relaxing breathing technique, which basically consists of 3 steps.
- Breathe in deeply and calmly ventrally or totally if possible
- Retention of air for a few seconds: apnea from 2 to 8 seconds depending on the retention capacity of the person
- Breathing out very slowly through the mouth or nose
Repeat this exercise at least 5 times if you want to relax and more easily fall asleep effectively.
To increase efficiency, you should try to gradually lengthen the expiration time and apnea very slightly.
Note: if during exercise breathing problems develop, such as asthma or others, then you should avoid the “apnea” phases and take only deep breaths and very slow expiration as follows:
Count up to 10 breaths, when you have completed these 10, you should start counting up to 9 breaths, and do the same up to 8 breaths, then 7, etc … you will be able to fall asleep before finishing all the breaths.
Exercise No. 2. It consists of bringing to mind the 3 best positive moments of the day, you must remember them and fully appreciate them.
If the day was difficult, then you should think of 3 simple, but pleasant little moments; Even on a very stressful and exhausting day it is possible to find and remember some small moments of pleasure or positive moments. It should be taken into account that when we have a bad day, negative things overshadow the quality moments, which could be found in a simple call, a meeting, a debate, a pleasant activity, a song, a delicious food, spending time with the pets, exercising, etc.
Meditation and yoga poses to avoid insomnia
- Happy baby posture : It is done lying flat on your back, bringing the knees to the chest and trying to keep the feet together; then make a 90 ° turn and bring the knees as far as possible towards the armpits area. This pose relieves the hips and lower back, while allowing the whole body to feel more relaxed.
- The posture of the goddess : In a sitting position with the knees bent and extended outwards, so that the feet of the plants can touch; the arms should relax along the body. This pose relieves the inside of the leg and groin where most of the stress is concentrated.
- Corpse pose : lying on the back, the arms and legs are fully stretched and relaxed. You must mentally locate each of your muscles and relax them completely. Finally you must become aware of your natural breathing. This exercise offers total relaxation, while you mentally review every part of your body, from your toes to your head.
Dealing with lack of sleep is never easy, but these meditation exercises are definitely of great help to those who suffer from insomnia , helping them to repair the damage caused by continuous wakefulness.
Meditation to avoid insomnia, is above all a training that will give you total control of your body and your mind, while allowing you to face any situation that disturbs your hours of rest. You can also try combining meditation with yoga for better sleep .
What is a guided sleep meditation?
The guided meditation to sleep consists of recordings specially designed for people who have difficulty falling asleep. The content of these recordings helps individuals to fall into a deep and highly restful sleep.
Hypnotic inductions are carefully chosen to promote entry into deep relaxation in a first phase (alpha and theta waves) and sleep in a second phase (delta waves) .
In the background, in an almost inaudible way, the heartbeat has been placed in order to induce a deep and refreshing sleep. To feel the effects of these beats, it is necessary to listen to the audio on a stereo headset; This will help generate brain waves in the brain and cause the expected effects on the nervous system. The brain must perceive the difference between the sounds that are generated by the left and the right ear. The difference in the number of vibrations perceived by both ears has an effect on the nervous system. Only with the use of stereo headphones can the difference between the left and right side be reproduced. Of course, you can also listen to the recording with normal headphones, but in this case,
Insomnia sufferers can get the most benefit from practicing this guided sleep therapy daily before bed.
Some additional tips to get a good night’s sleep
Eating a meal with complex carbohydrates in the evening promotes serotonin secretion and therefore helps you fall asleep more easily.
Escape to an imaginary and positive place or context after a couple of calm breaths, for example, if you won the lottery, what would you do? A vacation to the dream place, etc.
Unplug any electronic device that could interfere with sleep. We include from the most common telephones and cell phones, to any device that can be turned on at night (who has not woken up from a scare when an old radio starts to ring after a power outage).
Ideally, the last two hours awake you should not be thinking about anything that your mind considers work. Put aside the e-mails, the presentations and all the work problems. Try to distract your mind, ideally, avoiding television and other screens as well. There is nothing better than reading a book or, as we said before, engaging in some meditative practice.