Meditation has many health benefits. Better sleep and anxiety relief are some of them. Different meditation techniques promote sleep and help combat anxiety effectively.
I recommend to try them all and find out which one suits you better. If you are having a hard time falling asleep or suffering from racing thoughts before going to bed, continue reading to see how practicing meditation regularly will help you.
1. Use guided meditation to quiet the mind
Guided meditation is commonly prescribed for a good night's sleep. It is usually a good place to start for beginners or someone who has not tried meditation before. You will listen to a long audio track, following instructions, making sure you get relaxed, and at peace with yourself.
The difficulty lies in finding good meditation tracks that have proven results in fighting depression, anxiety, and mental exhaustion. You can find free guided meditation for sleep and anxiety relief on youtube. Listen to some of them or see if you find one that is perfect for your needs.
Following instructions in a peaceful environment makes it easier to get results when starting with meditation. It helps to ease into a comfortable state and acquire stability of mind. Making it part of a bedtime routine has many times shown improvement in sleep quality and stress relief.
Main point: Guided meditation is recommended for beginners with no background in any style of practice. Listen to some of the audio tracks available and decide which one you feel the most comfortable with. It will help you relax and stabilize your thoughts for better sleep quality and peace of mind.
2. Practice deep breathing meditation techniques
Deep breathing techniques begin by learning how to control breathing consciously at a slow pace. Breathing with the abdomen rather than with the chest is part of most mediation styles and help relax before sleep and fight anxiety.
A good way to begin is to place one hand on the stomach and one on the chest and try to breathe without moving the chest, only using the diaphragm. Deep breathing is very helpful to relax by slowing down your heart rate and focusing on your body rather than stressful thoughts.
Making sure you breathe in slowly through the nose and breath out through the mouth, only using your abdomen and not moving your chest. It is also important to exhale long enough to empty the lungs and avoid hyperventilation.
Main point: By slowing down your heart rate and focusing on your body, deep breathing meditation techniques can be used to relax, ease into sleep, and combat anxiety efficiently.
3. Use progressive muscle relaxation to sleep, fight insomnia and anxiety
This powerful meditation technique will make you enjoy feeling relaxed and fall into sleep quite easily. It has shown amazing results removing any tightness or tension in the body from head to toes. It is best practiced with closed eyes to relax, breathe deep and quiet the mind. It helps to focus on the body and getting rid of any anxiety or stress before going to sleep.
Progressive muscle relaxation should take 10 to 15 minutes to get comfortable, breathe deeply, then tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. Relieving muscle tension leads to mental relaxation as well by helping to focus on the core parts of the body instead of worrying thoughts.
How to begin with progressive muscle relaxation:
- Find a comfortable place
- Make sure the lighting is not too bright
- Try to avoid noisy location
- Put on comfortable clothes
- Close your eyes and begin to relax
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply
- Breathe in then raise your eyebrows then relax
- Breathe in then stretch your mouth open then close it
- Take a deep breath then clench your fists then relax
- Hold your hands up pushing in front of you then relax
- Tense your biceps then relax
- Repeat with your abdomen, lower back, upper legs, feet, ankles, and toes
- Make sure to relax your whole body at the end.
Main point: Progressive muscle relaxation is a great form of meditation for sleep and anxiety relief. Relieving muscle tension leads to mental relaxation as well. Focusing on the body and getting rid of any anxiety makes falling into sleep quite easy.
4. Eradicate anxiety and get better sleep with mindfulness exercises
Mindfulness meditation is used to be more aware of what is happening internally and externally with our bodies and thoughts. It can help to cure mental conditions like depression and anxiety. It has proven therapeutic applications as it is employed to learn how to better manage stress and emotions.
Meditators usually begin with 10 to 15 minutes of daily practice to observe its benefits or progressively getting in the habit of managing their thoughts. The practice can start seated with the back straight, cross-legged, in a comfortable position, and eyes closed.
The focus should be on breathing at first, making sure to breathe deeply with the abdomen. The objective is to concentrate on breathing and not let one's thoughts wander. Keep the attention on breathing while observing where the mind wants to go with acceptance and no judgment. Eventually being aware of breathing and thoughts will lead to awareness of emotions and actions.
Mindfulness meditation for sleep and anxiety relief is also proven effective in controlling attention and regulating emotions. It contributes to emotional and behavioral changes to lead a life of authenticity, self-acceptance with a sense of compassion and responsibility.
Main point: The practice of mindfulness meditation helps manage thoughts and emotions by focusing the attention on breathing at first and being aware of our body and actions. This helps get rid of anxiety and leads to better sleep.
Bonus: How regular meditation practice can have benefits for weight loss
The benefits of meditation for sleep and anxiety relief are multiple. Being a regular meditator allows reducing stress and combat anxiety by doing targeted exercise for the body and the mind. Stress and anxiety are known to lead to weight gain, partly because the body is trying to ease a painful state with primary needs.
The awareness of thoughts and emotions you acquire when meditating is also a major benefit when trying to lose weight. It helps to be more conscious of your body's needs and what you eat. Using coconut oil as well can help eat less.
Getting better deep sleep is easier after meditating, being more relaxed with a clear mind. This allows the body to rest completely, feeling less fatigue, having more energy, and inclined to exercise more in the morning. Early morning yoga is a good place to start.
Main point: A regular meditation practice helps reduce stress, anxiety, raise awareness of the body and the mind, get better deep sleep. This plays an important part in healthy living habits for weight loss.
Guided meditation is recommended for beginners with no background in any style of meditation practice. Listen to some of the audio tracks available and decide which one you feel the most comfortable with. It will help you relax and stabilize your thoughts for better sleep quality and peace of mind.
By slowing down your heart rate and focusing on your body, deep breathing meditation techniques can be used to relax, ease into sleep, and combat anxiety efficiently.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a great form of meditation for sleep and anxiety relief. Relieving muscle tension leads to mental relaxation as well. Focusing on the body and getting rid of any anxiety makes falling into sleep quite easy.
The practice of mindfulness meditation helps manage thoughts and emotions by focusing the attention on breathing at first and being aware of our body and actions. This helps get rid of anxiety and leads to better sleep.
A regular meditation practice helps reduce stress, anxiety, raise awareness of the body and the mind, and get better deep sleep. This plays an important part in healthy living habits for weight loss.
- Meditation and Its Regulatory Role on Sleep
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.