[tps_header]It is no secret that meditation is beneficial. But how does meditation help us sleep? Studies have shown that sleep improves when, rather than trying harder to fall asleep, individuals practice mindfulness, also known as: in the moment intentional and nonjudgmental awareness. Contrary to myth, mindfulness is not about emptying the mind of all thought; it is about increasing your awareness.
The Stanford Medical Center studied whether a 6 week program, combining mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, could improve the sleep patterns of 30 insomniacs. After the study, the participants went to sleep in just 20 minutes, as opposed to 40 minutes, and approximately 60% of the participants were no longer insomniacs! Follow up studies are showing that the benefits of meditation for sleep continue even months later.
Convinced? Here is a simple 5 minute mindful meditation practice and some pre-bedtime tips that can help you ease into a more restful night’s sleep:[/tps_header]
[tps_title]Minutes 1-2: Prepare for Bedtime [/tps_title]
- Ramping Down
Thoughts tend to race right before bedtime. What is going on tomorrow? What time is that meeting again? Who is taking Junior to soccer practice? Did I send that email? Keep a piece of paper and pen by your bedside and take a minute to jot down key words to jog your memory later. Aim to solve problems the next day, not while you are getting ready to turn in for the night.
- Feel the love
Think of or write down 3 things that brought you happiness or gratitude that day.
- Calm and sooth the senses
Try using lavender scented oil, lotion or a candle before bedtime.