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Why Sleep Meditation Can Transform Your Well-being

Why Sleep Meditation Can Transform Your Well-being

We’re capable of processing tons of information in the span of a single day, and sleep is an important component in this. A good night’s sleep doesn’t just help with memory - it can also improve mood regulation, heart health and athletic performance. Sleep meditation is a helpful practice to pick up on when you’re trying to improve your rest routine. Not only does it improve the actual duration of your sleep, but it can also improve sleep quality, which can in turn boost your well-being.

Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about meditation for sleep, from what it is, the science behind why it works, and the advantages it can have to your well-being beyond better sleep.

What is sleep meditation?

62% of adults worldwide struggle with getting enough sleep at night, and one of the leading contributing factors to this problem is stress. Sleep meditation is a type of practice that encourages your mind to slow down, decompress, and release any tension you might be holding within your body.

Most experts explain that meditation trains the brain to be less occupied by our constantly racing thoughts and more in tune with the needs of the physical body.

How does meditation for sleep work?

How does meditation for sleep work? | Puffy

So how can using meditation for sleep actually encourage better rest?

Part of the reason is scientific. Meditation has been proven to slow down your heart rate. It also fires up your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of your body that helps regulate your metabolism and also keeps you relaxed. It also encourages naturally slower breathing, which, as we have seen, can help to prime the body properly for a good night’s sleep.

Guided meditation for sleep works in a few different ways. These include:

  • Integrating breathing exercises into your bedtime routine: This is a process that involves slowly regulating the way you breathe, which primes your body for a good night’s sleep. Your breath naturally slows down when you’re in deep sleep, and by mimicking this type of breathing while you’re awake, you alert the body to get prepared for rest.
  • Engaging in mindful body scans: By bringing awareness to various parts of your body, you distract your brain from any other distractions that might be causing you to interrupt your sleep routine. Oftentimes, we’re so distracted by what we need to get done the next day, that we forget our bodies actually tire out and need recharging. Body scans can help with this.
  • Visualization techniques: This is a soothing sleep meditation technique that involves imagining an image or particular scene, and going over it, fleshing out details until you’re feeling calmer, and steadier than before.
  • Gentle counting: We’ve all heard of the counting sheeps technique when trying to get to bed for a reason. Regardless of whether you’re focusing on pure numbers or you’re actually switching things up using animals, counting helps to promote cycles of mundane thought, which can help anyone trying to get to sleep.
  • Bedtime yoga: Gentle, low-impact movement-based meditation can help offset pressure in your body, and have you feeling naturally more relaxed as you try to wind down for the night. Anything that prompts you to be more mindful of your body and the space it occupies can be a great practice, for both your physical as well as mental health.

What are the advantages of meditation for sleep?

Understanding why sleep meditation can have such a transformative impact on your well-being requires an understanding of the dangers of sleep deprivation. Researchers in Japan found adults who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are more prone to developing heart disease, diabetes, chronic illness and even unhealthy eating habits.

Sleep deprivation can have a profoundly negative impact on your well-being - whether it’s through less focus, poorer mood regulation, or even impairments in your memory. Sleep meditation is a natural sleep aid that can correct these issues.

When you use meditation for sleep and experience deeper quality sleep, it can create a ripple effect of positivity for your well-being. Better sleep naturally reduces stress, improves your memory, and can even encourage healthier eating habits. Some studies have even suggested sleep can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Sleep meditation can be a useful tool for anyone who finds themselves tossing and turning at night. Its benefits can also often go beyond sleep, especially if you’re the type of person who has a hard time regulating your mood or dealing with any level of anxiety.

How do I begin practicing sleep meditation for myself?

There are plenty of free resources available for people who are curious about the world of sleep mediation. We recommend using an app that specializes in helping people practice meditation for sleep. Some examples include Calm, or Headspace, both of which have guided meditation practices that are useful for beginners.

You may also choose to use a guided meditation practice on YouTube, or read a book on how you can get started on your own practice. Spotify has some great sleep meditation playlists for anyone looking to get started, too.

Other healthy sleep hygiene practices

Other healthy sleep hygiene practices | Puffy

Better sleep doesn’t just happen overnight. Consistent routines paired with healthy sleep hygiene habits go a long way in ensuring you’re getting your best night’s rest. Try and be consistent about when you go to bed and have a morning routine in place for when you wake up - this will encourage your body to fall into a natural rhythm that helps prevent disruption to your sleep cycle.

You’ll also want to ensure your bedroom is as comfortable as it can be for a proper night’s rest. A proper sleep setup can help support the release of melatonin in your body - keep your room dim in the evenings, avoid blue light from your phones or other devices and try pairing bedtime with a calming activity, such as sipping on a cup of warm herbal tea to maximize your chances of blissful rest. You’ll find peaceful sleep becomes second nature before you know it.

Your Turn...

Do you practice sleep meditation? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.

Certified Sleep Science Coach

Written by Teresa Francis, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Teresa Francis is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and full-time writer focused on well-being and sleep health. She’s written on a variety of topics, from what’s trending in bedroom decor to the way lifestyle influences sleep. Some of the subject areas she covers for Puffy include the best foods for better sleep, how new parents can catch up on rest, and the best way to become a morning person. Teresa has a Master’s Degree in Literature, and has always believed in the power of a good bedtime story.

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