Meditation can help with several health problems, including mental, physical, and sleep disorders. Meditating promotes relaxation, leading to a better night’s sleep and general life quality.
Mediating has become increasingly popular in recent years across America, with one in six practicing it at some point during our lives. How can we use it to help fight sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and Insomnia?
Research is constantly ongoing regarding what benefits meditating can have. Still, it is already being used as a popular remedy for people who have Insomnia because it costs nothing to do and is pretty easy to learn. More and more people are turning to it when they need help settling their minds before bed.
In this guide, I will look at how meditation before bed can help you unwind, how meditating in bed can help to treat your insomnia, and tell you the best way to practice it so that you can include it in your sleep routine.
How Can Meditation Help Your Mental Health And Affect Your Sleep?
Meditation has been proven to positively affect many aspects of your mental well-being and general health. It is also well known that a calm, relaxed mind promotes a good night’s sleep, referred to as a relaxation response.
Insomnia is what professionals call a state of hyper-arousal which you might call being wired, on edge, or restless, which can make it nearly impossible to drift off to sleep.
When we meditate, we fall into a state of acceptance and awareness, which can drastically reduce mental distress and psychological tension. It can also help us manage anger issues, depression, and anxiety; once these emotions are reduced, we can fall asleep in a much more peaceful state of mind.
Regarding physical health, meditation slows down our heart rate when practiced correctly and lowers cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Meditation can reduce stress-related irritation and improve insulin resistance with plenty of practice.
There is still a long way to go when it comes to researching how mediation can benefit our sleep quality, but it seems pretty clear that it has a calming and positive effect on how our brain works and how we fall asleep at night. It has also proven to reduce the number of times we wake up during the night.
As well as being advised as a treatment for problems with depression, pain, Insomnia, and anxiety, meditation is also proving to be beneficial to people with other health problems such as diabetes, cancer, fibromyalgia, and IBS. This is related to the fact that meditation helps to lower blood pressure and cognitive decline.
Meditating to Help Fight Insomnia
After a lot of research, it has been proven that meditation may actually be a natural way of treating Insomnia, as well as helping people without sleep disorders to have a more peaceful night’s sleep.
Practicing mindfulness in meditation seems to be even more successful when it comes to improving general sleep quality. It helps to reduce the amount of stress a person feels during the daytime so that by the time it comes to them falling asleep; it’s much easier to drift off.
How to Meditate in Bed to Improve Your Sleep?
The key to mediation is to prepare your surroundings before you start. Make sure that you’re in a comfortable position and a peaceful room where you can avoid disturbances.
If you practice meditating before you go to bed, make sure you think about what you wear to bed. Is it loose fitting and light? Be sure that the room is dark and cool, and ensure that you are in a position to fall asleep in, as you are likely to nod off while meditating.
Secondly, make sure that all your devices are switched off; things like your phone and TV screen can distract you from meditation, but if you wish to use a device for a guided meditation, switch off the screen and ensure that the volume isn’t too loud.
You will usually start your meditation by finding a central spot to focus on while concentrating on regulating your breathing. If you are following a guide, they will usually talk you through all this step-by-step in a calming, soothing tone.
Other ways of meditating are by calming images or nature sounds and gentle music. You can use all of these alongside a guide to help you get into the right headspace. These options work well for anyone who’s easily distracted.
4 Ways to Meditate in Bed to Help Fight Insomnia
Because there are various different ways of practicing meditation, you might want to try a few to discover which one works best for you; after all, everyone is different. Below are the four best meditation techniques that will help you battle your Insomnia.
1. Deep Breathing
The deep breathing method means engaging your diaphragm and using breathing techniques to help you fall asleep. I have found this one extremely helpful, and it seems to work every time.
It works by counting your breathing in seconds; for instance, breathe deeply through your nose for around four seconds, then hold your breath for seven seconds, and lastly, release the breath through your mouth very slowly for eight seconds.
2. Guided Meditation
This is great if you’re practicing meditation for the first time. Many guides online can be streamed for free and will take you step-by-step through every minute of your meditation, so if you’re not confident about trying it for yourself, these are an excellent way to learn.
They usually work by telling you to imagine yourself in a calming environment or your dream location. Then they will talk you through the meditation process in a calming voice, usually with gentle background music.
This is the meditation that has been linked most to helping with Insomnia. It involves focusing on what is going on around you, taking it all in, and being accepting of it.
It basically means you need to be open-minded, in control of your emotions, and welcome all thoughts, whether they be negative or positive.
4. Body Scan
The body scan method is when you focus on your body, usually starting with the top of your head, down to your chin, neck and shoulders, abdomen, and legs, as far down as the tips of your toes. While scanning your body, notice any pain, irritation, or any form of sensation you can feel, concentrate on them, and breathe into them.
This form of muscle relaxation can help you relax your whole body, which in turn contributes to helping you fall asleep.
How Often Should You Practice Meditation in Bed?
It can take some time to learn how to meditate correctly and to fit it into your day-to-day life, so when you first start out, try not to concentrate too much on how many times a week you do it or when you do it. Make sure that you practice getting it right first, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself; after all, it is a skill that needs to be perfected.
Once you feel comfortable that you have the groundwork done, then you should start to think about increasing the times per week that you do it; like with anything, the more you do it, the easier it will get and the more beneficial it will be.
Studies on relaxation have shown that meditating can immediately affect your psychological and physical well-being. However, when it comes to sleep, it may take a little bit longer until you notice the difference, so don’t give up if you’re still struggling to sleep after the first few times. It is believed that practicing meditation every day is the best option if you want to improve your sleep quality.
Overall, the best way to get the most out of meditation when it comes to sleep is to practice it every day over a long period of time. It is best to consider it a lifestyle change rather than a short-term hobby.
Other Forms of Meditation
There are other forms of meditation that can be done before you get into bed or throughout the daytime, which will still help you get a better quality of sleep at night. These include exercises such as yoga, pilates, and tai chi, all of which are known to soothe the mind, relax the body, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, leading to better sleep quality.
Side Effects of Mediatitating – All You Need To Know
It is very rare for people to have adverse side effects from meditating, but as with anything, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Here are a couple of side effects that some people have experienced after trying meditation.
1. No Positive Effect
Some people have become frustrated because they have tried meditation for sleep and found that it has actually made them have a worse night’s sleep. This could be because of the type of meditation they practiced or because it wasn’t performed correctly.
2. Physical Side Effects
Some people have complained about stiffness after practicing meditation, mainly in places like the back or neck. This is likely due to posture while meditating, which is very important; you must ensure that you’re in a comfortable position and allow your body to relax.
Of course, if you have mobility issues or injury, movement meditation such as pilates or tai chi isn’t recommended either.
3. Psychological Effects
Although this is extremely rare, a couple of reports from people said their anxiety was actually heightened. They felt more depressed after practicing meditation, though the reasons for this are still unknown.
4. Hasn’t Cured Insomnia
It has never been stated that meditation is a cure for sleep disorders, so it is essential to keep this in mind and remember that just because it works for some people, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for you.
Also, if you suffer from conditions such as restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea, these conditions need to be discussed with your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meditating to Fight Insomnia
Will Meditating Cure Insomnia?
It has been proven that meditation can contribute massively to people who suffer from the effects of insomnia; however, if your condition is persistent, you should speak with a medical professional.
Can I Meditate in Bed?
Yes. There are meditation practices that can be done from the comfort of your own bed, such as body scanning, breathing techniques, and guided meditations.
Does Yoga Help Insomnia?
Yes. Yoga is a form of active meditation that helps to calm the mind and relax the body, so if you partake in yoga throughout the day, studies have shown that it can help you to fall asleep easier during the evening.