Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
June 18, 2021
Some of the best meditation methods for falling asleep include:
Throughout the last several decades, numerous products, activities, and methods have been used to help people fall asleep. Whether you live in a loud, bustling city or you’re anxious about a long list of things to do the next day, nobody likes tossing and turning all night.
One of the oldest practices to aid in restful sleep is meditation. It’s said to have started around 5,000 to 3,5000 BCE. There were wall paintings that showed people sitting with their eyes closed in what we now know as a meditation position.
Over the years, this mindful practice hasn’t changed much from how it started. It has, however, differentiated and expanded to new heights. If you wrestle with falling or staying asleep, giving meditation a try could have you whisked off to dreamland with less effort.
Guided sleep meditation is by far the easiest form for those just starting. For one, there is a myriad of free guided meditations online. During this type of meditation, you’re in a comfortable position of your choosing as a soothing voice tells you what to do each step of the way.
They’ll let you know when it’s time to breathe. They’ll remind you to focus when distractions come up and more. All you have to do is listen to what they’re saying and follow directions to have an enjoyable, meditative experience.
When you’re using a visualization meditation, you’ll be asked to close your eyes and picture a scene. Sometimes it’s a field of flowers. Other times, it’s an empty room. Visualization meditations are often used to help those with trauma or mental health issues.
This type of meditation can also teach you a lot about your personality. Visualizations are a great choice for those with a busy mind who want to ease into meditation. The things being visualized can also improve your sleep and possible dreams.
Often, this kind of meditation is guided by a therapist or other trained professional, as it can be extremely powerful. Medical doctor Alexander Mauskop says this about meditation: “Physical changes in brain structure convince most skeptics that the benefits of meditation go beyond the placebo effect.”
If you would like to make an appointment with a therapist through our partner site, PlushCare, you can do so from the comfort of your home. PlushCare’s therapists are affordable, convenient, and reliable.
Whether you’re trying to combat anxiety or battling against insomnia, abdominal breathing meditation could help. Breathing, in general, is closely tied to the relaxing act of meditation.
Depending on the specific audio you listen to, you’ll be asked to take part in a breathing method. These often include breathing into your belly until it’s full. You’ll then be asked to hold the breath for a short period before audibly exhaling.
This makes you tired by temporarily reducing the oxygen going to your brain. It also releases chemicals that fight off the stress hormone cortisol.
This kind of meditation is also very common in yoga classes or other workout classes as a cool-down method and a way to exercise, feeding your mind after feeding your body with physical activity.
Whichever sleep meditation style you choose to try, don’t be intimidated by it.
It’s not uncommon for people to enter into meditation with the assumption that distractions are bad, and you should be able to clear your mind completely, or else you’re meditating wrong.
The average person’s mind tends to wander about every seven seconds. It’s natural to get distracted while you’re meditating. Even the people who have been practicing for years can’t help it.
You can put things in place to prevent distractions and bring you back to a meditative state. The most popular one is to focus on your breath. You can easily do this by placing a hand on your stomach or your chest and feel the movement of inward and outward breaths.
Whenever you notice that you’re getting distracted, focus on your breathing again. It’s also a good idea to allow distractions to pass like clouds in the sky. If you find yourself thinking of what you’re going to make for breakfast or things you need to pick up at the store the next day, don’t fight those thoughts, just let them pass, and don’t distract yourself more with frustrations that they were there in the first place.
Meditating can be done just about anywhere, including your bed, especially if you’re performing sleep meditation. Some tips to optimize your sleep meditation experience in your bedroom:
There is plenty of information online about using meditation for sleep, written by trained professionals. Doing your research, learning how to meditate correctly, and finding the sleep meditation style best for you can all be done from home on a computer or phone.
You can also listen to guided meditations via podcasts to help with your sleep struggles.
If you’d like to speak to a therapist about meditation for sleep disorders, you can make an appointment through our partner PlushCare.
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