How to Meditate Before Bed: Meditation for Better Sleep
If you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep at night, you are not alone. If you ever tried to have a functional, productive day after a bad night’s sleep, you can concur just how important sleep is.
For many of us, sleeping difficulty is intertwined with stress. Stress can induce anxiety and bring tension into the body, making it difficult to relax and fall asleep (or worsen already existing sleep issues). Having difficulty falling asleep can cause more tension and stress. This can turn into a frustrating and restless cycle.
Meditation may help you sleep better. This easy and inexpensive natural solution might be just the thing you were looking for to help you finally get a good night’s sleep. Meditation works as a relaxation technique, activating the rest-and-digest response in our body. When practiced before bedtime, meditation can help invite restfulness into the mind and body, making it easier to wind down and drift off.
Studies have shown that meditation can help reduce stress, a common troublemaker when it comes to restful sleep. Additionally, a growing number of studies have been linking meditation to improvements in sleep quality. We’ll mention these in the next paragraph.
Read on to find out if meditation helps you sleep better, learn how to meditate before bed and if it’s okay to meditate in bed.
Benefits of meditation before sleep: Does meditation help you sleep better?
Meditation practices influence brain functions and induce various intrinsic neural plasticity events. It is not a surprise then that meditation practice influences global regulatory changes in various states, including sleep.
A growing number of research supports the claim that meditation improves sleep quality and helps you sleep better at night.
Results of a research including 330 participants suggest that mindfulness meditation can significantly improve sleep quality and can serve as an auxiliary treatment for insomnia symptoms.
A randomized clinical trial conducted over a period of 1 year reports that mindfulness meditation improves sleep quality among older adults with moderate sleep disturbances in the short term, and that this effect appears to carry over into reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that has implications for quality of life.
Additionally, meditation has been shown as an effective method of lowering borderline hypertensive blood pressures, promoting even further a restful state.
And these are just the benefits related directly to sleep. Some of the other health benefits associated with meditation are improved concentration, lengthened attention span, greater ability to cope with pain, improvements in clarity of thinking which lead to improvements in memory, higher self-awareness and improved emotional health.
How to meditate before bed
Simple and effective meditation before bedtime:
- Find a comfortable position in a quiet area (like your bedroom). You can sit on your bed or even lie down in it. Yes, you can meditate in your bed, lying down, in this case! You can close your eyes or have a soft gaze at something neutral, like the wall or the ceiling.
- Slowly arrive to the present moment by following your breath. Take a couple of deep breaths with long inhales and even longer exhales (deep breaths with longer exhales stimulate the rest-and-digest response). You can observe where you feel the breath the most (belly, chest, nose), or you can follow each inhale and exhale by noting in and out.
- When you are at the end of the practice, expand your awareness to your surroundings. You can gently stretch or move your body in any way that is intuitive. If you are already lying in your bed ready to go to sleep, you are welcome to simply drift off.
Remember that your mind is going to wander off. Probably much sooner and more often than you’d anticipate. Every time the mind wanders somewhere else, once you notice it, gently and without judgment bring it back to the breath.
Check out my other post to find out more about types of meditation and how to start meditating.
Some FAQ regarding meditation before sleep:
Can I meditate in bed? What if I fall asleep?
Yes, you can meditate in bed! It is also okay to fall asleep during the meditation in this case. When you are meditating before bedtime, the incentive is to invite restfulness. If you are drifting off into sleep during your meditation, simply go where it takes you.
How will I know when I am done?
Set a timer, but without a loud notification at the end. I usually play a soundscape and set a timer on it – this offers me some background noise and a non-alerting cue as to when the meditation is ending.
Which position is the best?
The one that feels the most comfortable and inviting to you! For me, this is lying down on my back.
If you want help with habit building, adopting healthy coping skills, and finding more life balance, book now a meditation and mindful living coaching session with me – it might be just what you need to get you going and living life, instead of just getting by.
Additional tips to sleep better at night: Good sleep habits
Meditation, together with a good sleep hygiene can really improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
Here’s a list of sleep habits that can help improve the quality of your sleep:
- Having a regular sleep schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time
- Create a regular evening ritual – follow the same routine every night before sleep
- Increase bright light exposure during the day and reduce blue light exposure in the evening
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and big meals in the hours before sleep
- Keep a healthy diet and exercise regularly
- Reduce long daytime naps
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only (and meditation 🙂 )
- Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet
- See a healthcare provider if sleeping difficulties are a consistent problem in your life
Journaling can be a powerful addition to your evening routine. Grab my e-journal to guide you from self discovery to self love in 30 days and explore all the brilliant things that make you YOU.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging at times. A busy mind and stress induced tension can significantly interfere with restful sleep. Studies have shown that meditation can improve sleep quality and help as an auxiliary treatment for insomnia symptoms. However, you can’t relay only on meditation to insure a restful sleep, because it can’t replace or compensate a good sleep hygiene.
Having a good night’s sleep starts with when you wake up. Getting up early and having a consistent and energizing routine can be a real game changer. Sign up for my newsletter and get for free my morning routine checklist that changed my life and turned me into a morning person:
Interested in starting journaling? Check out my journaling tips for beginners and my favorite daily journal prompts.
Hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions or want to offer feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly.