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The key to energetic mornings is a good night’s sleep!
However, you need to do more than just sleep on time to achieve restful sleep. After all, the quality of your sleep affects your energy levels in the morning just as much as the number of hours you rest.
A great way to ensure that you sleep well at night is bedtime meditation. It is a simple yet effective measure that can be done anytime without any inconvenience.
In this article, we will explore the various kinds of meditation and relaxation techniques that will help you rest better. We will also be diving more into their overall benefits. So, let’s get started!
Before we move on to the types of meditation techniques you can try out and their respective benefits, it is crucial to understand how you should prepare for it. After all, simply laying down and meditating at any spot won’t help you sleep as well as you should.
Here are a few ways you can prep yourself for better sleep quality using meditative relaxation techniques:
Sticking to a specific time to sleep every day can help you with an improved sleep cycle. Hence, it is strongly advised to choose a definite time to meditate. Ideally, you should carry out the meditation right before you sleep.
Another essential key to a good night’s sleep is to be comfortable. Hence, wear your favorite set of cozy pajamas right before you hop into bed. Avoid wearing tight and restrictive clothes that might make it difficult for you to relax.
There is no point in meditating if the place where you are supposed to sleep is the culprit behind your sleepless nights. Hence, it is best to ensure that your environment, i.e., your bedroom is a place that promotes relaxation.
For instance, ensure that the temperature of your room is not too warm. Research shows that it is easier to fall asleep in a cooler room, hence it is best to adjust your thermostat accordingly. You should also make sure that the quality of your mattress has not degraded and that your bedroom is dark enough to avoid trouble falling asleep.
It is often assumed that meditation helps us stay energized, focused, and most importantly - awake. However, these are not the objectives that we wish to establish when we need a good night time routine! Then why meditate before bed?
Here’s the thing - there are only certain kinds of meditation that you need to do to relax your body better. While there are a variety of them that you can choose from, here are the top five that you must consider trying out:
As the name suggests, mindful breathing requires you to concentrate on your inhales and exhales. While this may sound like a very easy task, it takes a lot of practice to master this level of focus. It has natural tranquilizing abilities to calm your nervous system down, which can help you rest better. Here is how you can easily do mindful breathing:
Turn off the lights in your bedroom. Make your bed ready and ensure that the temperature of your room is on the cooler side. Then, hop into bed!
Once you lie down on the bed, let your body relax. Start by relaxing your jaw, facial muscles, and shoulder joints. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that we have tensed these points up. Similarly, relax your whole body.
Slowly, start focusing on each breath that you draw and release. Take note of how the air gushes past your nostrils to your lungs as it expands. Next, focus on how the air escapes through the same path as your lungs get back to the size that they were before.
While doing this meditation, it is best if you can breathe slowly so that you can concentrate on each inhale and exhale. It is okay if your mind wanders while doing so, just try to consciously get your mind back on the process of breathing.
Believe it or not, counting sheep is more than a cliched method of falling asleep. It is pretty effective because it helps you forget about any distracting thoughts that might be keeping you from resting properly. Here are the steps to follow:
Turn off the lights in your bedroom and prepare for sleep. Follow all the rules of sleep hygiene for better rest.
Lie on your bed. Close your eyes, and start counting. Since you don’t need to put in any conscious effort while counting, it is the best way to stay focused but relaxed. And keep counting till you fall asleep.
There are certain places that we consider to be our comfort or safe space. Be it laying in open fields, sitting beside a waterfall, or hearing the birds chirp - certain aspects of our environment make us happier and help us relax better.
However, it is not possible to go to such areas whenever we wish to calm down. In such cases, visualization is a great way to prompt your parasympathetic nervous system to work effectively.
Visualization refers to imagining being in a place or a situation that you believe calms you down the best. To do so, follow these steps:
Turn off the lights and lay down on your bed. Make sure that the bed is clean and that you have followed all the necessary sleep hygiene practices.
Close your eyes. Now, start picturing a place where you can be at peace. It need not be a spot where you have visited before. Let your imagination and creativity get the best of you in this step.
For better concentration and visualization, you can play music in the background that complements the scenario that you are thinking of. For instance, if you are visualizing laying beside a waterfall, you can play music that mimics the sounds of a waterfall.
This will allow you to fall deeper into the stimulation and relax better. However, you should note that the music that you play should not be too loud or it might wake you up instead.
For some people, it is difficult to stay focused during meditation because their thoughts can become very distracting. In such cases, guided meditation is the best form of relaxation. Since there is another voice paired up with soothing music that is supposed to be guiding you through the process of relaxing, you can simply lie down and meditate without getting distracted.
The best part is that there are no specific steps to follow here! Simply put on a guided meditation playlist on your music application and let it guide you through the process. However, it is best to use headphones if you will be sharing your room with someone, for we don’t want your good bedtime routine to spoil someone else's!
If you are tired of having tense muscles, then this Muscle Relaxation technique might be the best form of meditation for you. It is a scientific measure to battle issues like insomnia due to physical discomfort.
This technique requires you to tense and relax one muscle group at a time. It is known to help people deal with stress and anxiety as well. You can follow these steps to perform this technique easily:
Turn off the lights and lay down on your bed.
Take a few breaths and relax. Once you are calm and ready to begin this form of meditation, tense one muscle group for about 10 seconds. Release, and then repeat the process with the other muscle groups.
Repeat this tense and release cycle until you have targeted all the essential muscle groups - mainly the neck, shoulder, back, calves, and so on. You should also perform this muscle relaxation technique on any other specific area of your body that might be aching.
While many people take sleep medicine and physical therapy sessions to cure sleep disorders such as insomnia, bedtime meditation is quite an effective solution as well. For the unversed, insomnia is a frustrating condition because of which people find it difficult to fall asleep.
Studies suggest that breathing exercises right before sleeping can prepare your body for a better quality sleep by promoting relaxation. After all, the relaxation techniques of bedtime meditation make you focus on your breathing, so you do not get the chance to focus on your distracting thoughts.
As a result, factors like stress, anxiety, and overthinking ( the common psychological triggers for sleep disorders like insomnia) get eliminated. You fall asleep faster and remain asleep only to wake up in the morning feeling well-rested and energized.
Studies suggest that bedtime meditation can trigger something called the Relaxation Response, which has been known to alter an individual’s appearance for the better. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory changes at the genetic level observed among the people who meditate before bed are believed to be the reason for their young appearance.
No, this is not any magic - it is plain science!
It is a well-known fact that stress can make us look dull. After all, when we do not get a restful night’s sleep, we tend to experience various health issues, such as high blood pressure, degraded mental health, and a troubled heart rate. This reflects in our physical appearance.
The combination of deep breathing and getting enough sleep helps us avoid such issues, which results in our genes working in our favor, and not against us. As such, people who meditate before bedtime look brighter and younger.
Depression can have a variety of causes, and not getting good quality sleep can be one of them. As such, people who struggle with mental health issues must have a good nighttime routine, with a fixed time for meditation as well.
When people are very stressed for a long period, their bodies release a hormone called cortisol. This chemical hampers the ability of your mind to rest, thereby affecting your sleep patterns for the worse. A nighttime routine that involves you meditating before sleeping can help you control the production of this hormone, thereby leading to better sleep.
Issues like stress, anxiety, and insomnia can cause several physical discomforts. Since these problems cause your body to physically tense up, they can lead to body aches. Hence, you might find it difficult to fall asleep, which will only increase your stress - thereby creating a never ending cycle.
Bedtime meditation allows you to loosen up your body’s tense parts and relieves stress from your mind. Hence, you wake up energized in the morning.
The secret to restful nights and energetic mornings is staying asleep comfortably. As easy as it may sound, it is a very difficult task for many people. Factors like stress, anxiety, and poor lifestyle habits can hamper our sleep schedule, causing us to remain fatigued throughout the day.
Bedtime meditation is a great sleep aid in such cases. You can prepare for it easily by wearing comfortable clothes and making your environment sleep-friendly. A few of the many techniques that you can try out are Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique, mindful breathing, the counting technique, and visualization.
The benefits of such forms of meditation include controlled blood pressure, preventing the possibility of developing coronary heart disease, and improving the circadian rhythm within your body. With that, we have reached the end of this article. Hope you have a good night’s sleep!