Having trouble falling asleep night after night? This is a very common issue in the age of too much screen time and overstimulation.
Some people go straight for sleeping pills, while other people resist them because they want a healthy, natural and clean way of teaching themselves to fall asleep in the long run.
Want natural ways to sleep better, faster and longer? This is where meditation can help. Meditation is a process of breathing, scanning your body, being present in the moment and allowing your body to relax and rest. It’s great for your mental health as well.
If you’re interested in finding a good alternative to sleeping pills and a natural way to sleep better, faster and longer, try meditation for sleep with these tips for mindfulness, relaxation and breathing techniques.
10-Step Meditation To Induce Sleep
This is a 10-step meditation process that will help you let go of thoughts, frustration, tension and tightness and it will allow you to drift to sleep freely.
Here are the steps:
1. Get Relaxed
Lie comfortably in bed. Take a few deep breaths – through the nose and through the mouth. As you breathe, fill your lungs with air and imagine all of your troubles and feelings disappearing. Imagine all your tension disappearing.
2. Become aware
Check in with your body. See how you are feeling – both body and mind. Don’t rush anything as well. Take your time.
Don’t worry if you still have a lot of thoughts going through in your mind. Let them be. Don’t resist your thoughts no matter what they are about.
3. Focus on the sensations
Be aware of all the physical points of contact between you and the bed. Pay attention to how it feels and feel your body sinking into the mattress.
Pay attention to where the contact is the strongest. Notice sounds and sensations. Focus on them for a while and then let go.
4. Scan your body
Get a sense of how you feel. Do you feel heavy or light? Still or restless? Scan your body and observe any tension or tightness. Relax and let go. Do this scan several times and see which parts of your body are the tensest.
5. Focus on your breath
Notice the rising and the falling of the chest. Bring your attention to it. Where do you feel the movement most clearly? Don’t change anything, neither the rhythm or the placement of your body.
Allow your body to do what it wants to do. Breathe naturally, the way your body wants to. Just notice what your breath is like.
6. Become mindful
When you notice your breath for a few minutes, it’s normal to wander off. When you realize this, gently bring your mind back to breathing and the moment you are in. Feel everything that’s happening around you.
Pay attention to your breath and the air around you. Your mind will wander off on occasion but you should just gently point it to the moment you are in and continue paying attention to the breathing.
7. Recollect your day
In this step, take your mind on a walkthrough through the day you had. Take yourself back to the first moment of the day you can remember, right after waking up.
Remember how you felt, what you saw, what you heard. Then, set your mind to replay all of the events of the day, all of the people you have seen, all of the conversations you had and things that happened.
You don’t have to go too much into detail, just have an overview. It may seem like a lot but it’s not. Just focus on that.
As your mind replays the day you had, resist the urge to overthink certain events and get caught up in thinking. Your mind will wander but just gently return it back on the replay.
8. Switch off for the night
Bring yourself to the present moment and focus on the body again. Put your attention on the small toe on your left foot and imagine that you are switching it off for the night.
Give your body the permission to switch off for the night. Know that they won’t be needed until tomorrow morning. Relax and repeat the words if it will make it easier.
9. Relax your lower body
Do the same thing with your entire body, toe by toe. Continue all the way up to your waist. Notice how the part that’s switched off is feeling. It’s a different feeling, right?
Both your legs, all of the parts of them are calm and peaceful, asleep and relaxed. Your upper part is still awake but drowsy. Go leg by leg, scan it and see how it feels
10. Relax your upper body
Continue until you reach the top of your head. Take a moment to enjoy being free of tension and tightness. You don’t have to do anything with your body, you’ve given up the control all you have to do is just lay there, be present and that’s it.
After you reach the head and your head is asleep as well, allow your mind to wander and associate from one thought to another, allow it to go where it wants to go.
It’s quite possible that you will fall asleep by the end – or even in the middle – of this exercise. But that’s okay – that’s the whole point of it.
More Natural Ways To Fall Asleep
Of course, there are other methods of sleeping better and falling asleep easily. Here they are:
“Abdominal breathing is breathing from your abdomen and focusing on those breaths and how they move your body. Your mind will naturally wander but you should gently remind it to get back to breathing. You can do a body scan as well, to further relax your body,” says sleep disorders therapist, Tina Denning.
This is focusing on different aspects of your life and your day. Just lay comfortably and focus on one thing at a time. Big events first, your feelings about them, and then small events and feelings. Notice your breath as well. Let go of those feelings and events.
More than three decades of scientific research at medical centres all over the world suggests that training in mindfulness and MBSR can positively and often profoundly affect participants’ ability to reduce stress, pain, illness, and medical symptoms while also learning to live life more fully.
Read more about mindfulness meditation here.
“This is imagining a calming scene, person or event. Focus on this as you breathe, imagine yourself there, doing something relaxing. Breathe in and out and just keep imagining the calm and relaxing image of your choice,” says yoga instructor, Tom Hudson.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Breathe in and out alternatively. One time through one nostril, one time through the other nostril. Just keep going. Let bad thoughts out with those breaths. Focus on breathing like that until you fall asleep.
Count down from 100 to 1. Slowly, while breathing and imagining those numbers just going away together with your thoughts as you fall asleep.
Falling asleep is a difficult process nowadays when we are so busy and our lives get so hectic. But, instead of reaching for the pills or letting your problems get to you, you can try meditating.
This method is simple and very effective. It may prove a bit challenging in the beginning but it will definitely get easier as the days go by.
After a while, you will sleep like a baby without even reaching the second step in the process. Hopefully, these natural ways will help you sleep better at night.
Joel Syder works as a medical consultant and writer at AcademicBrits and Australia2Write. He loves helping people do better in life through meditation and traditional methods. He also writes for Brit Student, educational blog.
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