For thousands of years, the ancient art of meditation has been used to calm the mind and relax the body. These techniques can greatly aid sufferers of insomnia. By making meditation part of your daily routine, you can begin to cure your sleep problems, and also reap many other healthful benefits.
An increasing number of physicians are prescribing meditation to remedy insomnia and other maladies because of its ability to ease pain and stimulate healing. Meditation is a safe and natural way to create physical and mental harmony within your body and mind – and it doesn’t cost a cent!
On a daily basis, many of us experience life’s various pressures and burdens and at day’s end we don’t know how to correctly let it all go and relax in a healthy way. Meditation increases production of serotonin which in turn affects your mood and demeanor. Decreased serotonin levels are linked with headaches, anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Studies have shown that after regularly practicing meditation, many insomnia sufferers decreased the time it took them to fall asleep at night from about an hour and a half to within fifteen minutes after going to bed.
NOTE: not all meditative techniques will create a conducive sleeping environment. Some will actually make you alert, therefore keeping you awake.
Here are four meditation techniques that will help you get to sleep.
1. Mindful breathing
As you lie in bed, focus on your breathing and how it feels in your belly as the stomach muscles rise and fall.
Make sure you focus your awareness on the belly as opposed to any other aspect of the breathing process, since this is the most calming area to observe in this exercise. Concentrating on chest, throat, or head sensations will actively stimulate you, so avoid focusing on those areas.
Closely observe your exhale rather than your inhale. Counting at the end of each exhale is a good way to do this. You can repeat the word “peace” or “rest” as you breathe out. Breathing out is more calming, while breathing in is more stimulating.
Watch this video for proper breathing technique:
2. Quieting inner chatter
Often it can be difficult to get to sleep because our brains want to review and critique all the various events and activities of the day, not to mention ongoing life issues. It can even be just one thought that keeps looping like a broken record.
If you’re struggling with nonstop chatter inside your head, try to progressively slow down and deepen the voices like when you’ve seen and heard a scene in a movie going in slow motion.
It may take a few attempts to get the hang of it, but once you’re able to control the flow and slow down the voices, you’ll begin to feel sleepier.
3. Visual imagery
This technique is about focusing on a visual that will have relaxing and calming effects.
Envision a gently flowing mountain stream or the leaves of a tree slowly swaying in a gentle breeze. Actually feel the soft breeze against your skin – the more senses you incorporate, the more effective it will be. You could visualize raindrops dripping from the leaves of a tree, which would create a good monotonous and hypnotic effect.
You could even envision a peaceful memory from your childhood as long as it isn’t stimulating.
By using these methods to slow down your inner chatter and visualize tranquil imagery, you’re taking control of your mind and deciding what kind of thoughts you will have. Gaining control of your mind is the key to successful mediation.
4. Calming physical restlessness
This last problem that can prevent us from getting to sleep is physical restlessness. This can be due to too much physical exertion too close to bedtime. Be sure to avoid exercising within 4 hours of going to bed.
If your mind feels tired but your body is still stimulated with physical energy, try imagining that your body is progressively getting heavier and heavier, as it’s being pressed down into your bed. Focus on feeling the weight of each part of your body, starting from your feet to your head.
Remember when you were a child taking a long car trip, and your head would drop down like it weighed a hundred pounds as you nodded off to sleep? That’s because your body starts to feel heavy when you are naturally sleepy.
You may find one technique will get you to sleep or you may want to combine all four.
Once you incorporate a regular meditation routine into your schedule, not only will you enjoy the benefits of restful sleep but also you’ll discover that you feel less worried and stressed and more serene and relaxed about everything in general.
Other insomnia related articles:
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Top Causes of Insomnia
How to go to Sleep – 48 Tips to Help Cure your Insomnia
Diet and Insomnia – Foods That Cause Insomnia
Diet and Insomnia – Foods to Help You Sleep
Allergies and Insomnia
Should you use Antihistamines for Insomnia?
Aromatherapy for Insomnia – It makes Scents
Acupressure for Insomnia – Getting to the point
The Benefits of Using Acupuncture for Insomnia
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Children and Insomnia
Alcohol and Insomnia
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