If you struggle to sleep well, meditation may be helpful. As a calming practice, meditation can clear your mind, relax your body, and help you get into the right mindset for a restful night. Making meditation part of your bedtime routine may help improve your sleep quality.
How Meditation Helps You Sleep
A meta-analysis of mindfulness meditation and insomnia indicates mindfulness meditation can offer sleep improvement. Overall, mindfulness meditation significantly improved total wake time and sleep quality, and may provide mild improvement for patients with insomnia.
Meditation can be combined with other treatment methods for people who struggle to sleep well. For example, you may combine meditation with improved sleep hygiene, acupuncture, medication, sleep therapy, or other treatments recommended by your doctor.
Using Meditation in Your Bedtime Routine to Sleep Well
Meditation can be a healthy part of your bedtime routine. Each night, it’s important to walk through the same steps before you go to sleep. Over time, a consistent bedtime routine can signal to your brain that it’s bedtime and time to wind down and get to sleep.
Trigger the relaxation response with meditation. Mindfulness meditation can trigger the relaxation response. This response is the opposite of the stress response and can ease your stress.
Practice meditation throughout the day. Although meditation is a good choice for a bedtime routine activity, meditation throughout the day can also help you feel relaxed. If you’ve practiced meditation during the day, it will be easier to trigger the relaxation response at night.
Commit to at least 20 minutes of meditation each day. Experts recommend 20 minutes of meditation daily. Consistently practicing meditation can make relaxation feel like more of a reflex.
Combine meditation with yoga or tai chi. Other calming practices can be complementary to meditation, especially if you prefer to stay active. Consider meditating as you practice yoga or tai chi, focusing on your breath, counting, or a phrase as you go through the movements.
Meditate in bed. Meditation can help you drift off to sleep. If you’d like to fall asleep relaxed, consider meditating in bed, where you can be comfortable and drift off as you relax. Make sure your bed is cozy, go through your bedtime routine, and then finish up with meditation as you get under the covers.
Choose the right meditation technique. There are several types of meditation you can practice. Mindfulness meditation shows the most promise, but any meditation that calms your mind and body can be helpful. Consider progressive muscle relaxation, mindful breathing, counting meditation, or a guided meditation.
Practice healthy sleep habits. Although meditation may improve insomnia symptoms, it’s not a magic bullet. You should make meditation a component of your healthy sleep habits. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time each night and day, practice a calming bedtime routine that includes meditation, and avoid some of the major pitfalls that can interfere with good rest. Late night screen time, heavy meals before bed, caffeine in the afternoon or evening, and intense exercise just before bed can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep whether you’re meditating or not.
Samantha (Sam) Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]