It’s been a stressful couple of years. If you have more time to sleep but struggle with poor quality rest, a meditation practice before bed can help. Meditation might sound easy but is actually quite challenging; be patient with yourself.
Meditation Quiets the Brain
Meditation is sitting or lying down and thinking about nothing. It requires you to completely empty your brain. You can focus on your breathing, play music or listen to a guided meditation.
You don’t have to sit in any particular position to meditate effectively. Just get comfortable. Set a timer so you’re not distracted by looking at the clock. To clear your head, it can be beneficial to light a candle to look at while you breathe. Focus on the candle and let your eyes go unfocused. When a thought enters your head to distract you, gently guide your brain back to the candle.
If you’re using meditation to fall asleep or improve your sleep quality, start your bedtime meditation lying down. Of course, you won’t use a candle for this meditation. A bedtime, lie-down meditation is an ideal time for a pre-recorded guided meditation.
Meditation Makes Room for Solutions
Clearing your brain with meditation before bed can create room for solutions to problems that are used to keep you awake. Keep a journal near your bed so you can write down your first thoughts each day. Will all of these ideas be successful or even logical? No.
However, these morning thoughts will serve as an indication of your creativity. Too often, we think of worrying as a way to prevent big problems by chewing them down into smaller bites. Worrying is not problem-solving because it forces you to view the problem from the same direction each time. Creative problem solving is about viewing the problem from a new angle that makes it easier to break down.
Meditation Can Oxygenate Your Body and Brain
Putting in the time to build a meditation practice can actually be really good for your body. Meditation is all about the breath. If you struggle with sleep apnea and wake up more tired than when you went to bed, meditation before bed and when you get back up again could be a great way to boost your energy while you get the physical challenges causing the apnea taken care of.
Meditation Reduces Nighttime Problems
Too often, the problems that keep us up at night grow into huge issues because they take center stage in our heads. Building a simple meditation routine that includes a mantra or list of words that calm you can actually serve as a reminder that it’s OK to go back to sleep.
For example, your meditation could be similar to a bedtime prayer asking for blessings on those you love. From oldest to youngest, you may list your family and friends and hold them for a moment in your heart and thoughts. If you find that you wake in the night with worries, start this list over. Because you built a meditation habit, your brain will realize the routine and more easily fall back asleep.
Meditation is Occasionally Boring
Once you start a bedtime meditation that makes it easier to fall and stay asleep, you may be confused by folks who find meditation invigorating. As a test, the next time you desire a nap, sit up and meditate for 10 minutes. Check what happens to your energy level. How do you feel in 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours?
Boring meditation practice is helpful for bedtime. Keep it! However, there are many meditation practices that can actually be quite invigorating. Figure out where you want to put your focus with your midday meditation. Do you need to increase your patience in dealing with your children? Do you want to be more creative, get more exercise or eat better? Your focus prior to your meditation can help free up those “results” which are just the thoughts that you finally allow to come to the top of your mind.
Meditation can help you overcome insomnia and anxious wake-ups at night. It can also invigorate your brain in the middle of the day. Use that boring meditation at bedtime to put your brain to sleep. Track the thoughts that come up.