Let’s face it. We’ve all wondered how we can get a better night’s sleep regardless of underlying conditions. So what options are available? Some turn to medications and others might choose an alcoholic drink as a “nightcap.” But one easy, free and healthy way to approve your lack of sleep is by meditating. Here is how meditation can help improve your sleep patterns each night.
How meditation helps
There’s a lot of research out there that shows just how much meditation can help a person in so many ways. For sleep problems, it is often caused by stress and worry. With meditation, people can improve their relaxation response when it comes to approaching stress. It can also help to improve control of the autonomic nervous system, which, in turn, reduces how easily you are awakened each night.
Meditation can also be used to:
- Increase melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.
- Reduce your heart rate.
- Decrease your blood pressure.
- Increase serotonin, which is a precursor of melatonin.
- Activate parts of the brain that control sleep.
Everyone experiences similar changes in the early stages of sleep and meditation can help to promote sleep by initiating these changes–it is a win-win for everyone.
How to meditate
Now, how do you meditate? It’s pretty simple–you just have to make sure you’re ready for it. Meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. In fact, you don’t even need special tools or equipment to complete it! All you need is a few minutes of your time. It’s that simple.
The hard part is establishing a meditation routine. But, like all things, that takes time and practice to develop. Here are some basic steps you can follow to begin your meditation practice:
- Find a quiet area to sit or lie down in.
- Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Just focus on your breathing.
- If a thought pops up, try to let it go and refocus on the inhale and exhale of your breathing.
As you begin your meditation practice, remember to be kind and patient with yourself. It is a practice that improves and develops overtime, so don’t stress about it. Try meditating for three or five minutes before bed and overtime increase the length slowly to up to 20 minutes.
Let us know how you are enjoying meditation! We are always happy to learn what our patients are doing to continue to improve their mind and body.