It is estimated that the majority of the population gets only seven hours of sleep per night (source). For this, we can turn to Sleep Meditation, which promotes restful rest …
This means that the population sleeps, each night, only the minimum time (proper to each of course but commonly accepted as being seven hours) recommended for a good recovery. In addition, almost 10 – 30 % people Worldwide suffer from a health problem linked to sleep, such as insomnia.
These sleep disorders in the population unfortunately promote many ailments of the body. In particular, we know that it increases the risk of stroke by almost 15%, and the risk of heart attack by almost 50%. The importance of restorative rest is therefore paramount for the body. Also, it is essential to improve our quality of sleep to protect us from many health problems.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEDITATION AND SLEEP?
Meditation is a discipline resulting from Indian culture, and has been practiced for millennia. It comes to us from the Himalayan heights and, if it is no longer only linked to religion, is increasingly popular around the world.
Indeed, meditation is an activity that can be practiced anywhere, and at any time of the day. It can be exercised by everyone, and does not require special knowledge.
On the other hand, it is an effective way to combat daily stress and anxiety according to a number of studies.
Likewise, meditation would have many benefits on the quality of sleep. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, linked meditation to improved quality of rest in people with sleep disorders.
Since then, much more research has succeeded in proving the benefits of meditation on sleep. This is in part because this discipline helps to combat stress and anxiety.
THE LINK BETWEEN MEDITATION AND MELATONIN
Melatoninis, as you may know, one of the hormones responsible for regulating sleep. It is especially produced by our pineal gland (often called the epiphysis), especially at night.
If the level of melatonin in the blood is high, sleep will be better and vice versa if the level of melatonin is low. In case of insomnia, it may also be advisable to take melatonin capsules before bed to benefit from a deeper and more restful sleep (however, start by adopting good sleeping habits).
A 1995 scientific study in Massachusetts established that meditation increases the level of melatonin in the blood. During this research, sixteen people were tested on their quality of sleep, and their melatonin level.
The results also proved that those who meditated had significantly more melatonin in their blood than those who did not. Thus, this Buddhist practice would promote the creation of melatonin by our body, and would favor restful sleep …
HOW TO MEDITATE TO SLEEP?
To increase our chances of having a restful and deep sleep, it is therefore recommended to meditate before falling asleep. This would help relax our body before resting, while gradually releasing stress and harmful thoughts.
In his book “Meditation is smart! “, The specialist explains in particular that” By meditating, nervous tension turns into physical fatigue and allows us to find a fairer, less dramatic relationship to our state of mind “. Meditating before sleeping would therefore be the best way to quickly access beneficial and restorative sleep.
The first important step is to eliminate sources of noise or distraction. Start by turning your phone off or mute, and forget about it until the next day. This will allow you, at the same time, to do a “mini digital detox”. Then sit cross-legged on a cushion or on the floor. Your back should be straight, your feet firmly planted on the ground, and your hands can rest on your thighs or knees.
To start meditation, you have to focus on your breathing. You need to pay attention to the air you inhale, and the air you breathe out. The goal is not to create a vacuum, because it is obviously impossible to think of nothing.
In fact, you have to let yourself be carried away by its flood of thoughts. We must identify each feeling that crosses us, and then mentally return to our posture. Constantly returning to our posture, our immediate environment is the very purpose of meditation. It is a matter of constantly returning to instant T, to the ultimate present. And this is what allows this discipline to bring many benefits to the body.
There are some simple meditation exercises you can do before falling asleep that will help those who are struggling the most.
The Body Scan
This is arguably the most classic and the easiest exercise to do, and it is also very effective.
Lie comfortably on your bed, and close your eyes. The room should obviously be quiet, and you should not risk being disturbed by outside noises. Take the time to breathe slowly, and gradually relax your muscles.
Then the goal will be to focus your attention on the different parts of your body, from one end to the other, and note every sensation, every nervous tension. The goal will be to observe how your mind moves during your meditation. The fact of going up mentally along your body, thinking of each part will allow you to return to your posture, at the moment T.
Another great exercise to relieve the stress of the day can be to simply focus on the tension. You can sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion or lie on your back.
The posture should be relaxed, and breathing slow. The idea is to focus on the worries we have on our minds that are causing our anxiety. We must then try to observe what effects each of these tensions have on our body (dry throat, tight jaw, sweaty hands, etc.).
However, these tensions and worries must be greeted with gentleness and kindness by the spirit. Finally, when you encounter a point of pain, you should approach it with the same positive state of mind to allow it to disappear smoothly. It is a great exercise to gently relieve everyday worries. As a result, it will naturally promote more restful sleep.