The Best Meditation for Sleep
On average adults are told to get around eight hours of sleep a night. Seven to nine hours being considered by experts as the “optimum” recommended for a fully functioning, alert mind the following day. Yet somehow studies have found that the majority of Britons are getting less than seven hours of sleep a night, and a restless seven hours at that. Many can’t get more than four or five hours a night at best.
As guidance, we are constantly told to leave our electronics out of the bedroom, giving our brains a chance to wind down or we are told to stick to regulated bed times in order to achieve the best night of sleep. But largely, we are not prone to doing this, preferring to fall asleep watching a show on Netflix, scrolling through Instagram or sending that last minute email. And even if we do regulate our bedtimes and leave our electronics outside, we are still prone to staying awake worrying about all the things we have to do tomorrow.
It seems crazy to think that we would need a cheat sheet to allow ourselves the best night’s sleep but it appears that this is becoming more and more necessary as work-loads, constant stress and computer screens leave us wide-eyed and restless for far longer than is healthy.
But with the increasing levels of stress affecting our day-to-day lives in this fast-paced world, perhaps it is time to focus on a practice that has been working for humans since (according to the first written records) as early as 1500BC. It is an often overlooked way to relax the mind and body: meditation.
Meditation is one of the oldest practices, certainly older than Netflix and Wall Street, Startups and mobiles. It has been proven effective in managing stress levels and in turn, many stress 1 related illnesses. Practicing on a regular basis can greatly improve your physical, emotional, and mental state.
So perhaps, as we approach sleep, meditation could be the best way to silence the mental chatter. There are many forms of meditation, such as mindfulness, focused attention, open monitoring meditation and yoga. These can all be started with varying types of guidance, or you could also avoid guided meditation and opt for listening to relaxing, meditative music. Not everything works the same for everyone and a different approach could be better suited to you.
The fact is there is a whole world surrounding meditation. It could be your best start to a great night’s sleep and help reduce your stress levels. Meditation can help you still the mind, regulate your breathing and focus on completely relaxing your body. This leads you to sleep more soundly and ultimately, as research has shown, it can also greatly improve your mental and physical health as early as two months into practicing. Some prefer guided meditation, even after years of practice, whereas others can start without any guidance and find their own path. So you may be wondering what is the “best type” of meditation for the best night’s sleep?
The real answer is that there is no “best type” of meditation. Every single practice or technique that exists works differently for every individual. And these practices could work best one week, and become redundant the next. But the important thing to remember is that whatever type you may choose to follow, the ultimate intention of sleep meditation remains the same – to create an overall state of mental and physical relaxation and eventually fall into deeper, uninterrupted sleep.
The key to understanding what you need is to truly listen to your own body. If you wake up feeling completely well rested, then you may have found your niche. If not try to listen to what your body is telling you. It could still be unrested and nervous. If this is the case you can try another one. If you are following a guided meditation it could just be that you don’t like the person’s voice or style. It really depends and only you can feel what your body needs.
The best meditation for sleep is yours alone to find. Experiment, listen to your body, and let your favourite meditation lead you into deeper, undisturbed nights of sleep. Changing your sleep pattern is the first step to taking control of your own life.