Meditation Exercises for a Better Sleep
There’s little doubt that we live in a very stressful world, which is why so many people have trouble sleeping on a regular basis. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 30% of Americans claim to experience some type of sleep disruption on a regular basis, but many experts consider this a very conservative number. The percentages go up for people over the age of 60. With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that over-the-counter sleep aids are selling like hotcakes, but fortunately, there are more natural ways to combat your sleep problems.
The Natural Way Is Better
Researching the best tips to help you fall asleep is easy because there is a lot of information out there about all types of natural sleep methods. This includes aromatherapy and essential oils, teaching yourself how to relax and clear your mind, and even doing yoga to stretch those muscles so that you have less pain when you finally fall asleep. People who have trouble falling or staying asleep usually suffer with one of two problems: physical pain or emotional turmoil. If you can pinpoint which of these affects you the most, you can more easily find what you should do next.
Many people automatically reach for over-the-counter medications when they’re having sleep problems, but this is rarely a good idea because most of them are made to help you get to sleep fast, not to keep you asleep or help you to sleep better throughout the night. When you’re looking into natural ways to help you sleep, meditation is always one of the activities suggested. If you think you’ve got too much going on and can’t concentrate on meditating, think again. Meditation is made to look like a long, drawn-out process in TV shows and the movies, but in reality it is as simple as ever.
You may not consider meditation one of the best exercises to get a better sleep, but it is an exercise nonetheless because it teaches you how to breathe properly to get you into better shape, which will naturally help you sleep better. Most people don’t breathe properly with long, deep breaths but instead breathe much too shallow. Meditation helps you breathe the right way so that you can feel better and get to sleep much faster. The best part is, the process of meditation is much easier than you think.
Meditation is much more than a way to relax. It is thought that meditating regularly can also cause positive effects on your body, including:
● Activating the part of your brain that controls your sleep patterns.
● Decreasing your blood pressure.
● Increasing serotonin and melatonin, which are natural sleep enhancers.
● Reducing your heart rate.
In fact, these are also effects that your body goes through during the early stages of sleep. In a sense, meditation helps give you a head start when it comes to sleeping better throughout the night.
As far as getting started, you do not need to spend any money when learning how to meditate. It takes only three steps, and they are steps anyone can do. Here are the three steps:
● Find a quiet place to sit or lie down.
● Close your eyes and breathe slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on every breath you take.
● When a thought comes into your mind, let it go immediately and go back to thinking about your breathing.
That’s it! The hardest part for most people is clearing your head of all thoughts and simply concentrating on breathing. Especially at the end of the day, trying to clear your head can be very difficult, but the more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it. In the beginning, aim for meditating three to five minutes because this is all you’re likely to be able to do.
Eventually, you’ll want to stay still, breathe, and keep your head clear for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and if you do this each night before you go to bed, you should start seeing a difference in your sleep patterns almost immediately.
Let’s Get Started
To get the best sleep possible, meditation can be a huge help, and below are just some of the ways you can meditate so you can sleep better and longer each night. Here are the exercises:
Deep Relaxation – Guided Meditation
Guided meditation merely means you are listening to a guide who gently takes you through the meditation process in detail so that you’ll know exactly what to do each step of the way. There are plenty of CDs available to listen to as you meditate, and there are also free meditation sessions on YouTube, such as those that are led by Jason Stephenson.
Guided meditations are perfect for beginners because they help you go through the process step by step, and the guide’s soothing voice will help direct all your energies in the right direction so your session will be a success.
Other great meditation sessions include those by Lauren Ostrowski Fenton. She even has one that is made specifically to help you get to sleep quickly. Videos on YouTube by professional guides always include beautiful scenery as well as soothing background music, so should you ever want to open your eyes and take a peek, you’ll be able to enjoy some extraordinary photos that are certain to help put you in a better place physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Meditations with Binaural Beats
You’ll need headphones to listen to these meditation tapes. This is because when the tapes are made, they aim for one sound frequency in your right ear and a different frequency in your left ear. Your brain reacts to these frequencies differently depending on how fast or slow they are. The frequencies in these tapes are slow enough so that your brain slows down as well, which automatically relaxes you. These “binaural beats” also help reduce the pain that might be keeping you awake, as well as raise the level of sleep-producing hormones in your body.
YouTube stations such as Meditation Vacation, led by Christian Thomas, provide tons of videos that specialize in meditations with binaural beats, and like most other meditation videos on YouTube, these are completely free. Not only do these types of guided meditations help relax the entire body and clear your mind, but they also work wonders on your overall health. Some of them even help your body heal itself as you sleep, as well as provide you with positive affirmations that help give you courage, confidence, and a feeling of power.
Meditations with Hypnosis
Better sleep is always possible with meditation, and when you combine this technique with hypnosis, the effects are extraordinary. Michael Sealey is one of many guided meditation experts who combines a bit of hypnosis with the meditation videos he provides. One of his most popular videos aims at cleansing your mind, body, and spirit, and it includes the sounds of rain and music to promote the self-healing process that is available to everyone.
Sealey’s videos are found on YouTube, where he has his own station that you can subscribe to if you like. Because both meditation and hypnosis involve deep relaxation, clearing your mind of clutter, and coming close to falling asleep without actually doing so, there’s little wonder that these two amazing techniques produce phenomenal results.
If you’re too tense or stressed in the evenings to fall asleep quickly, these types of meditations can be true miracle-workers. Sleep music, spoken word hypnosis, sleep hypnosis, and hypnosis with subconscious programming are just a few of the techniques used in these videos to help you fall asleep and stay asleep all night long.
Unguided Relaxation Meditations
These are some of the most popular meditations because there is no guide or voice-overs but instead just soothing sounds you can listen to if you want to relax before climbing into bed. The variety of sounds is extraordinary, which is good because what is relaxing to one person might not be relaxing to another. Some people love the sound of rainfall and even thunder, while others feel a lot of stress when they listen to these sounds. Some of the many background sounds offered on these types of videos include ocean waves, symphony music, rainfalls, and even soft opera music.
The Relaxed Guy is one of the channels on YouTube that offers a lot of meditation videos with rain in them, including both heavy and light rain showers. They are designed specifically to help you get a better sleep each and every night, and they are available 24/7 in case it takes you a long time to get relaxed. Regardless of how stressed you are or what type of situations relax you, you can find something out there to help you meditate. Even if you don’t, just try sitting and relaxing and doing some deep breathing, and it won’t be long before you’re meditating on a regular basis and getting a great night’s sleep every night of the week.