Sleep meditation is a practice that can help us fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Unwinding from a busy day isn’t easy but it’s clear mindfulness and sleep meditation can really help.
When we get into bed with our to-do lists still reeling through our minds, sleep meditation gives our mental processes a rest, calming the nervous system of the body and creating the conditions for sweet, deep, natural sleep.
One way of taking good care of ourselves is making sleep meditation part of a daily wind-down ritual. The ritual doesn’t have to be complicated or long. It might look like: turning off devices, having a bath or shower if that’s relaxing, and getting into bed.
If you find the time before bed is when worries and stresses come to mind, it may be helpful to add 10 minutes of journaling to the routine, to get the thoughts out of your head and onto the page. To further help signal your body that it’s time for rest, you might spritz your pillow with a natural sleep mist.
The more senses you engage when creating a new habit, the better. The last step before sleep meditation should be to get comfortable in your bed. By following the same steps in the same order, we create routines for ourselves and set the stage for whatever’s to follow; in this case, sleep meditation. It becomes a habit.
Once you’re in bed, sleep meditation can be as simple as these 6 steps:
- Notice your in-breath.
- Notice your out-breath.
- Notice the sensations in your body.
- Allow thoughts to come.
- Allow thoughts to go.
- Return to noticing your breath.
For every night you practice — even if only for a few minutes — the benefits add up. You begin to retrain your brain to relax and to calm your body so you can more easily settle into sleep.
However, if this doesn’t work for you we’d recommend trying guided sleep meditation, this most often happens by listening to an audio meditation online or in a meditation app. Instead of meditating in silence, the meditator is listening to the guidance of another voice. Guided sleep meditation is designed to relax the listener deeply, leading to sleep.