So you want to learn how to get a better night’s sleep? You are not alone.
Millions of people around the world are sleep deprived and they don’t even realize it. Getting a good night’s sleep can impact your life in many ways including being more productive and alert.
It can also impact your life in a negative way if you don’t get enough rest each night. Many people suffer from chronic pain, disease, and even obesity as a result of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
It’s a powerful thing!
So today we’re going to bring to you a sleep meditation you can use to get a peaceful night’s rest.
Here are 10 steps you can take:
Step 1: Breathe
After you have settled yourself in your bed, take a few moments and focus on your breathing.
Try breathing five big, deep breaths in and out. Pay attention to how the air feels moving in and out of your lungs.
Paying attention to how your body feels is important as you release any tension and stress from the day during your breathing exercise.
Step 2: Take Your Time
While you might feel like you are racing against the clock to fall asleep, taking the time to get it right can greatly improve your sleep quality.
Take time to pay attention to how the sheets feel, how your body rests against them, and the thoughts that are filling your head.
Step 3: Engage
When you settle into your bed, consider how the room feels around you. How does it sound? Is there noise that can be removed? Can you make the room darker? Can you release the thoughts hounding you?
What is happening with your state that is preventing you from relaxing?
Step 4: Scale the Body
With your imagination make your way around your body from part to party focusing on how each part of your body feels. If it is tense, try to relax it.
If it is relaxed, enjoy. Move from the top of your head to your toes, focusing on each part of your body for about 20 seconds.
This might seem like a lot of work, but it is a helpful exercise in focusing your thoughts on something other than the stressful day you had.
Step 5: Just Breathe
Don’t worry about how or when you breathe. Just breathe. Pay attention to where the rise and fall of your breathe occurs and give that area of your body your focus for a short period of time.
You might notice that the rhythm of your breathing changes as you start to pay attention to it – that’s normal, so just continue with the exercise.
Step 6: All Those Who Wander are Not Lost
Remember that there is no right or wrong way to breathe when you are trying to relax yourself into a good night’s sleep.
If your mind wants to wander, acknowledge the effort, and the redirect it back to the rise and fall of your breathing.
If your stomach is lifting and falling with each breathe, pay attention to that. It will help combat the messages your brain is trying to process and hijack your sleep with.
Step 7: Reverse Psychology
An important part of preparing for bed is to retrace your steps for the day to remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for in your life.
Starting where you are as you prepare for sleep, take mental walk through your day all the way back to the very first moment you opened your eyes that same day.
You might find this difficult to do because we are used to recounting our days from the start, but the backward exercise will ensure your brain doesn’t wander too far from its task.
Step 8: Give Yourself Permission
As you start to feel good about the day you just lived, give yourself permission to go to sleep. Start with one small part of your body and work your way around the entirety of your body and allow yourself the space to fall asleep.
If you continue working through thoughts of the day, try deep breathing again to focus on the rise and fall to stop the thoughts from preventing you from falling asleep.
Step 9: Switch Off
As you make your way around to each part of your body, pronounce the day done and allow your body to relax.
Does one leg feel different than the other when it’s turned off for the day? If you have ever woke up feeling like you didn’t want to move your body because you were so comfortable than you know how great it feels to be fully relaxed. That’s the goal.
Step 10: Are You Asleep Yet?
It’s every bit possible that you might not even make it to the tenth step in this restful sleep exercise. If you fell asleep already, good for you.
If you are still struggling, give yourself time to figure out what is going to work for you. Don’t forget to try reducing your activity before bed, taking a hot bath or shower, and eating some protein to help your body repair and recover throughout the night.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment.
Here's what you will get:
- Learn what 'mindfulness' really is and the scientific benefits to practicing it daily
- Practical exercises to be mindful throughout the day (even at work)
- How to practice daily meditations to enhance peace and clarity of mind
- Learn how to practice Yoga and Ujjayi Breath
- Understand and implement the 7 key steps to practicing mindfulness
Check it out here.