Can meditation help with sleep?
Get set for the sleep & meditation masterclass
Trouble falling and staying asleep? Welcome to the club. We know the drill – your head hits the pillow, and suddenly your mind goes a million miles a minute. But what if there was a way to help put the brakes on? Enter meditation. We’re talking about how to do it and its benefits.
What does good sleep look like?
Most of us need around six to nine hours of sleep every night. And hitting the hay works wonders for your body and mind – think repairing tissue and relieving stress. Not sleeping well can affect your health and wellbeing, and you could be more at risk of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Read our guide about what could happen if you don’t get enough sleep.
What is meditation?
It’s all about being less in your head and more aware of your thoughts and feelings. Like any new skill, learning to meditate takes time, but the stress-busting and calm-inducing benefits are great for helping you manage and understand what goes through your mind.
How to meditate
Meditating is simple and easy, and you can do it anytime, anywhere! The good news is you don’t need any fancy equipment or tools, just 10 minutes of your spare time will do.
Deciding where and when you want to meditate is the first step. Find somewhere comfy, relaxing and free from distractions, and a time that suits your schedule.
Sit on the floor or on a chair and rest your hands on your knees, keeping your back straight. Take some deep breaths, in and out. Next, close your eyes and focus on your senses – notice anything you can hear or smell.
Turn your awareness to your thoughts (yep, even the bad ones), noticing how you feel when you think of them.
Finally, bring your attention to your breathing, focussing on the rising and falling of your chest. Don’t forget to enjoy the calm and clarity that comes with sitting still! Become aware of your senses again and slowly open your eyes.
What is sleep meditation?
Simply put, sleep meditation helps to settle the mind to rest the body. It’s called sleep meditation because you do it as part of your winding down routine.
Guided meditation – a type of meditation led by a teacher in person, via video or audio – is another form of sleep meditation that can help you let go of the day’s stresses for slumber success. There are loads of online videos and apps for guided meditation, with techniques like body scanning and breathing exercises to stop the sheep counting.
Why not treat yourself to a Headspace gift card? You’ll find sleep music and meditations to make bedtime something to look forward to.