How Meditation Can Help You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep
Sleep! We know we need it. We know how important it is. We know how good we feel when we get a full 8 hours of it! And yet, falling soundly asleep at night seems to grow increasingly difficult in our hyperconnected and stressed-out world. We pull our gaze away from our screens long enough to try and shut our eyes, only to find that the moment we do, our brain begins to conjure up an exhaustive array of thoughts, stories, and dramas. Well what if we told you we had a way to quiet all that noise and help you get the 7-9 hours of restorative sleep you deserve?
Because we do! And it’s as simple as focusing on your breath for a concentration of time each day. Yep, we’re talking about yet another benefit of meditation. Every time we meditate, we are training our brain to let go of the tension and stress we feel when we hold on too tightly to our thoughts. Sometimes it feels like this tension peaks when we lay our heads down to sleep and, suddenly, all we have left is our thoughts.
And you don’t even need to meditate right before bed to have it drastically improve your sleep! It’s the consistent practice that makes it easier to drop into that calm and quiet state at any time. By developing a regular meditation habit, you strengthen your brain’s ability to let go of focusing on the noise it likes to create. Which helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep through the night. And a full night of sleep is VITAL to your physical, emotional, and overall well-being. It improves mood, focus, energy, your metabolism, your immune system, OMG we could go on and on about the importance of sleep but we know you get it and we don’t want to stress you out if you feel like you’re not getting enough 🙂
So here are some quick tips on how to help quiet that brain at night:
1. Try to keep your phone out of your bedroom! And not just because exposure to blue light affects our REM cycles, but keeping your phone away prevents you from giving into that temptation to let your thoughts take over and wind up down a Wikipedia rabbit hole or unimportant email purging.
2. As you lay down to sleep, close your eyes and begin a body scan. Starting at the bottom of your feet, gently move your focus along your legs, your torso, your chest, arms, shoulders, and ending finally at your head. As your focus moves up your body, pause and take a moment to really FEEL that body part. Thank it for all it’s done for you that day. And intentionally shut it off, giving it permission to rest.
3. Start to count your breaths backwards, starting at 999, with every cycle of inhale and exhale as one. As soon as you notice your mind wander to a thought or a feeling, gently begin counting again at whatever number you last recall.
And, as always, we think one of the BEST ways to improve your sleep and overall well-being is to join the Chorus.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Ali & MK