Meditation for Sleep in 10 Easy Steps
Many experts recommend meditation for sleep. It is said that meditation really helps those who suffer from insomnia or stress and feel restless even as they try to sleep at night. What meditation does is give the mind a rest, eliminate stress and the constant worries that plague the mind, putting you at ease as you go to bed. Meditation for sleep should be done around 30 minutes prior to going to bed, it increases your awareness and understanding, which in turn helps you sleep better. Read on for our guide on meditation for sleep in 10 easy steps.
As you lie on your bed, breath deeply about five times. Breath through the nose and out through the mouth. Feel the lungs filling with air as you breathe in and the chest expand. Try to remove all your thoughts of the day as you breath out. Just feel all the tension in the body disappear with every breath you take.
Just ask yourself how you feel, do you have thoughts still left in your mind? Are they troubling thoughts that you wish to avoid? Don’t worry about it, it is natural to have a lot of thoughts going through your mind at this stage. Some of them could be deeply upsetting for you as well. Watch with them. Don’t resist them.
Try to make yourself aware of the things that your body is in contact with. As you sleep on the bed, try to be aware of the mattress, try to be aware of your body as it sinks through it. Is your weight distributed evenly? Try to notice the sounds around you, feel the sensations. If the sound is something that you cannot ignore, pay attention to it for about half a minute, and then take your attention away, feel the sensations of your body.
How does your body feel now? Does it feel heavy, light, do you feel restless? Try to mentally observe your body, without opening your eyes, from the head to the toe, try to get a sense of any tension within. Now focus on the source of tension and relax. Repeat these observations several times during the course of your meditation for sleep and take 30 seconds every time. Observe where you feel any sense of discomfort.
At this point you will feel the calming sensation of the rising and falling breath, and if you don’t, try to feel the part of the body where you can decipher a movement most lucidly. Keep breathing in the same rhythm, let your body do what it’s comfortable with. There are no rules here, just do what you feel most comfortable doing. Now observe your breath – is it long or short, deep or shallow.
After a few minutes of observing your breath, your mind may wander off. Don’t worry about being distracted, it is quite normal. Try to as gradually as you can to return your focus back to the meditation, feel the breath rising and falling within you. Just do this for a couple of minutes till your meditation for sleep is back on track.
Now, you should take your focus to how you felt during the day, in a calm and methodical way, right from your first action in the day to the last, from morning till night. How did you feel when you woke up in the morning? This way, take your mind to each and every action of the day, and do it gently, and yet quickly, as though setting the “fast-forward” option on your DVD player. Calmly watch all the events of the day in your mind’s eyes. Don’t think too much about the events, just observe them and move on. Do this for two or three minutes and now come to the present. Now, stay in the present.
You are now in the present, now focus on the body, from the toes of your feet to the little finger on your hands. Imagine as though these body parts have been switched off for the night. Just say “rest” in your mind as soon as you think of a body part, feel it relaxing as you switch it off. Then, relax your jaws, bones, joints, and everything else. Tell yourself that you don’t need them till you wake up in the morning.
Repeat the same process with every part of the body, from the toes to the feet, from the joints to the heel, from the legs to the pelvic region, from the hips to the stomach, from the hands to the shoulders, from the throat to the chin, from the face to the head, till you reach the top of the head – just try to switch them off gradually. Switch off every part of the body, gradually.
After you switch off all parts of your body, you will feel sleep taking you over, as you lose all the stress, pressure and worries of the day and go into a deep, blissful slumber. This is how meditation for sleep works.