Meditation can help improve different areas of your life, including how you sleep. Studies show that meditation can help improve melatonin production and support your body’s relaxation responses. Here are 3 meditation techniques to help you sleep.
Meditation techniques to help you sleep
1. Focused meditation
This meditation technique encourages you to focus on one thing, particularly a sensory stimulus, to help calm your nervous system and quiet the mind.
As you lie in bed, pick one sound that you’d like to focus your attention on. If you are listening to music, for example, then consider shifting your awareness toward that. You can also focus on a few sounds around you, like the breeze outside your window or maybe the drone of your AC.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, then your mind will naturally jump from one thought to another. When you notice this, gently refocus it back to your chosen stimulus.
2. Body scan
The body scan is a more commonly known meditation technique to help you sleep. Because your body can hold feelings of tension, practicing your body scan can also help you become aware of where you hold stress.
On your bed, pick a comfortable supine position. Feel the weight of your body against your bed. Then, begin scanning your body from the top of your head down towards your toes. Notice if any areas in your body are calling out to you and soften and mindfully relax those areas.
Continue your body scan several times until you feel your body grow heavier and your mind become quieter.
3. Breath awareness
When you fall into the state of sleep, your heart rate and your breath slow down. Sometimes, though, it takes a bit of effort to bring your breath into that relaxed, rhythmic state. Here’s how to do it:
While you lie down, place your hands on your belly. Notice the quality of your breath and observe your inhalations and exhalations. Slowly but mindfully, begin to slow down your breath. Allow your belly and your chest to be more expansive every single down and feel your heart slow down with every in breath and out breath.
These 3 meditation techniques to help you sleep can active your parasympathetic nervous system, or your rest and digest response. Try it out and see which one works for you.