So, you’re interested in learning how to meditate your way to relaxation. Meditation has so many health benefits, and it’s known to help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality!
When you meditate, a variety of physiological changes occur. Specifically, these changes initiate sleep by influencing processes in your body, such as:
- increasing your natural melatonin production
- increasing serotonin (precursor of melatonin)
- reducing your heart rate
- decreasing your blood pressure
- activating parts of the brain that control sleep
Your body experiences similar changes in the early stages of sleep. As a result, meditation can promote sleep by initiating these changes.
Daily stress and anxiety can lead to a lot of sleep issues. In contrast, meditation helps your body to improve its natural relaxation response. Additionally, meditation can reduce nighttime awakenings by improving the control of your autonomic nervous system. In fact, a 2015 study found that mindfulness meditation reduced insomnia symptoms and daytime fatigue.
Whether you want a do-it-yourself method or you’d prefer to be guided by a track, we have all the best techniques for you to try right here in this list, along with links to helpful apps and resources!
✨ BODY SCAN
Body scan is a really popular form of mindfulness meditation. Adults who regularly engage in the body scan report greater psychological well-being, self-compassion, less reactivity to stress, and lower levels of depression. Above all, improving these areas can reduce stress and anxieties, and improve self-love that can counter some of your inner saboteur that tries to keep you up all night.
All you have to do is let your mind focus on each part of your body in a slow progressive meditation:
Start with your toes. Bring your focus to each individual toe, one at a time, then slowly move up to your foot, your heel, your ankle, your shin…take time to focus on each part of your body as you slowly make your way up to your head. Relax each body part as you focus on it.
✨ GUIDED MEDIATION
There are many many many many apps that you can download for guided meditation tracks! Here is a list of the ones we recommend:
✨ PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Tensing each of your muscle groups, one at a time
Releasing the tension and easing the muscles into a moment of relaxation
✨ YOGA NIDRA
This ancient Indian technique is a more intense form of mediation. Yoga Nidra is used to take your mind to a place between sleep and wakefulness, and is incredible for relieving stress (it’s even been used to help soldiers recover from PTSD).
During a Yoga Nidra session, the goal is complete relaxation in all of your senses, and some say that just a one-hour session can leave you feeling like you just slept for an entire night.
If you’re a Yoga Nidra pro, or if you have a routine that you enjoy using, GO YOU! But if you’re not already a pro in Yoga Nidra, it is recommended to use a guided track: