Night Meditation – Promoting Overall Calmness
Many of you might be having trouble falling asleep at night and experience insomnia symptoms. Sleeping difficulty can be related to stress, which causes tension and anxiety, making it hard to sleep.
To help in bringing your sleep on track, night meditation can be really helpful. Before sleep meditation may help reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting overall calmness.
Although healthy sleep has more to do with the quality of sleep than the quantity of sleep (hours). Night meditation helps you create the inner conditions that you need for a truly restful sleep. Because when we settle the mind, we rest the body, and that restfulness is what makes it easier to wind down and drift off.
What Is Night Meditation?
Meditation trains us to be less in our heads and more mindful of the current moment. When we stop and stay still in our beds, the mind’s tendency to get caught up in thoughts is perhaps the strongest. Before sleep, meditation is a specific, guided experience that acts as a natural sleep aid, allowing us to let go of the events of the day, everything that has happened, and everything that has been said; so that our mind can rest while simultaneously resting the body. When the body goes into resting mode, meditation helps lower the heart rate, encouraging slower breathing, thereby increasing the prospect of quality sleep.
Meditation Before Bed, Good Idea or Bad?
It is said that there is no wrong way or wrong time to meditate, and we agree, do you? Meditation is such a thing that you can do it anytime during the day. But night meditation helps you calm your racing mind and fight fatigue and insomnia. By practicing before sleep meditation, you learn to let go of the day’s stress. This allows you to tap into the restful and relaxation state when it’s time to say good night.
Irrespective of the times, meditation for sleep should be approached the same way you approach meditation anytime during the day; gently, with a relaxed focus. When you force yourself to sleep, you are actually inviting more thoughts and probably some tension. But when you meditate and allow your body to relax, letting your mind drift off, softly and gently, you can sleep peacefully. Try as much as possible, that you allow yourself to be led by the guidance while practicing night meditation then think too much about the technique or instructions.
Regular meditation be it of any type, can help you improve your quality of sleep. It is just like how exercising promotes physical health, exercising your mind is equally essential for your mental health. Some simple guided night meditation can walk you through the techniques to relax before bed. However, forming the habit of daily meditation can profoundly improve your sleep quality.
Different Styles to Meditate Before Bed
Night meditation creates some physiological changes that are similar to those that happen in your body during the early phases of sleep. Your stress hormones go down, your pulse rate slows, blood pressure drops, etc. Being able to get to that state on your own means that you have an easier time drifting off whenever you want to.
But for the insomniac fellas out there, who have trouble sleeping right when their head hits the pillow; there are a few different styles of meditation that can help you to find the right fit for you to improve your sleep.
This type of night meditation is the most popular form. Mindfulness meditation involves simply focusing on the present. It’s done by paying attention to your consciousness, your breathing, and your body. You might become aware of the sound of your breathing, or feeling the mat/floor/bed underneath you, or simply the sound of your surroundings.
If you notice that your thoughts wander to the meeting you have tomorrow, or you feel an emotion of guilt for how you rudely talked to your mother in the morning, or anything else outside the present moment; simply observe it, try to steer yourself back to being mindful and then let it pass without judging yourself.
This type of night meditation makes you focus on one specific thing. Candle meditation can be said to be Concentration meditation as in that also you zero in on the flame from a candle or focus your graze at an object. During this, you can repeat a mantra out loud. For newbies and beginners, having a point of focus is quite helpful in easing the mind and relaxing fully.
Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan Meditation is also one type of night mediation. In this, you focus on each body part one by one. The goal of this meditation before bed is to increase the awareness of your physical sensations, including tension and pain. The focus and concentration act promotes relaxation, which can help you sleep better.
Guided meditation is where you listen to another person who leads you through each step of your meditation practice. An instructor might tell you to breathe, focus on relaxing your body in a certain way. They might even guide you to imagine or visualize pictures and sounds. For example, a beautiful beach, water lapping onto the shore, birds chirping away as they go back to their nests, etc. This technique is also known as guided imagery.
Guided imagination can also be used for improving your performance. For example, a chef might visualize himself/herself in the MasterChef kitchen making his/her best dish and getting selected to be in the finals, or an executive might imagine himself/herself giving a presentation with utmost confidence and perfection.
You can do a guided meditation with a coach in a class or by using a recording. If you are doing night meditation before bed you can try listening to a recording of guided meditation. The steps can vary from source to source, but following the step-by-step instruction can provide you with a general overview of how to do a guided meditation.