Although sleep is very important, most of us spend too much time trying to drift off. So, if you’re among the ones who lose time tossing instead of snoozing, going down a rabbit hole of ruminative thoughts and emotions, while stress continues to build up, you might need to try something new.
We all know the common struggle you have every night, trying to sleep on your left side, switching on your right, placing those arms under the pillow, dimming the lights, looking for that stuffed animal, or your boyfriend or even switching Netflix with a good book but without any results.
It happens to all of us. We feel the next day approaching around 3AM and we’re still not able to close an eye. So, you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, according to statistics, 3% of American adults get less than the minimum hours of sleep per night and 1/3 of UK people only sleep maximum six hours a night, way less than the doctors recommend.
How did we get to this situation? It could be that late dinner you had before going to bed or that second coffee you’ve drank in the evening. Or maybe you’ve spent too much time at your laptop or thinking about the problems you have to solve the next day. Nevertheless, without those eight hours of sleep, you will feel sluggish the whole workday, not being able to focus at your tasks or to perform your daily chores.
Is there a solution that can help you sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow? We believe guided sleep meditation can do that.
What is guided sleep meditation?
We’re sure that you already know that meditation can help you relax, giving you a sense of calm and clearing your mind, but did you know that it can also help you go to dreamland and stay there?
Using relaxing and breathing techniques, movements, chanting and mantra repetition, you can be more present in each moment, connecting with your body and mind and observing your thoughts in a nonjudgmental way that calms your mind. This is the main reason that people are meditating for thousands of years.
The only difference between non-guided meditation and guided meditation is the presence of a guide or a book/program that will lead you every step of the way, through the motions, with a soothing voice. Advanced practitioners don’t usually need a guide to meditate being able to find peace within themselves alone after years of practice. But if you’re a beginner, a guided program might really do the job for you.
Sleep meditation vs. regular meditation
How is sleep meditation different from regular mediation? Although the techniques are quite similar, sleep meditation involves:
- Practice just before you go to bed.
- Perform it while you’re laying down.
- Focusing on different bedtime themes or mantras.
On the other hand, exactly like regular meditation sleep meditation uses
- Deep breathing techniques that lower the heart rate, refreshing the body.
- Relaxation methods that help you let go worrying before going to bed.
- Body scanning with a focus on each sensation, so you’ll be distracted from your stressful thoughts.
- Visualisations that can help you take your mind to a peaceful, calm state.
Does guided sleep meditation work?
Studies have shown that the results of guided sleep meditation are promising. As a matter of fact, according to a research about mindfulness awareness, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, this method has managed to improve the quality of sleep for more than 49 people that participated to the study, as well as their daytime problems such as fatigue and even anxiety and depression.
Although every person is different, may have a different rhythm and get to the same results in a different pace, (from weeks to months), guided sleep meditation, usually works for all those who are practising it on a daily basis, since its benefits usually start to occur after constant practice.
What else is there to know?
One of the easiest ways to do sleep meditation and maintain a mindfulness regimen is to use meditation apps that can help you reduce the stress levels and insomnia.
These apps are accessible and practical and they can teach you deep breathing techniques, tranquil nature settings and calming sleep stories that can help your transition to sleep.
Since for most of us, finding time to commit to a regular meditation practice is not all the time an easy option, these apps can be a helpful resource on your journey to mindfulness.