Understanding Sleep Meditation Techniques

Dr. Dan JensenSleep

Understanding Sleep Meditation Techniques
Dr. Dan Jensen

Are you curious about sleep meditation techniques? Mindfulness and meditation can be effective sleep aids that help you relax in the evening and feel calm before crawling under the covers. Some meditations are silent, and you can focus on your breath or on your body. Others can include movement or sound. There are also numerous apps with guided sleep meditations that can help you relax before bed.

What Are the Benefits of Sleep Meditation?

Sleep meditation may take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve been meditating for a few days you’ll start to notice a change. Meditation makes it easier to sleep by reducing stress and calming feelings of anxiety. Some of the benefits of sleep meditation include:

  • Reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.
  • Lowering feelings of pain.
  • Enhancing relaxation and a feeling of calm.
  • Making it easier to adjust your sleep schedule to start going to sleep sooner and waking up earlier.
  • Decreasing the symptoms of jet lag and making it easier to relax and fall asleep in a new environment such as a hotel.
  • Sleeping better while doing shift work, and recovering from shifting sleep schedules.

Should You Use Sleep Meditation?

If sleep meditation sounds interesting to you, give it a try! Sleep Meditation has a lot of benefits and no side effects. People that may benefit the most from sleep meditation include:

  • Anyone with high levels of stress, especially in the evening
  • Anyone working night shifts or shift work
  • Anyone with insomnia
  • Older adults who have a hard time falling asleep
  • Anyone who wants to have consistently better sleep

How to Practice Sleep Meditation by Focusing on Your Breath

The best time to practice sleep meditation is in the evening when you’re winding down for the night. Practicing anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes can help you relax and get into a comfortable and calm frame of mind.

Popular sleep meditation are simple breathing exercises. This could include being mindful of your breath as you breathe in and out. When your mind drifts off to other thoughts, just gently bring your thoughts back to your breath again. 

Box breathing is another good sleep meditation. This is how it works:

  • Breathe in while counting to four
  • Hold your breath for four counts
  • Breathe out for four counts
  • Hold your breath for four counts

You can keep following this pattern for a few minutes, then breathe naturally while focusing on your breath.

Sleep Apps 

You can find a number of sleep apps that will guide you through sleep meditations. This can include meditations that focus on your breath, walk you through a body scan, or simply play soothing music. These are some questions to ask yourself as you choose a mindfulness app:

  • Is the app free? Am I willing to pay a subscription?
  • Can I access the meditations offline so that I can put my phone in airplane mode for the night?
  • Do I want calming sounds, guided meditations, or some of both?
  • Does the app track my daily progress?
  • Is there room to write notes about the meditations or about sleep quality?

Answering these questions can help you determine what kind of mindfulness app you want to use, and help you find an app that works for you. 

Sleep Tips

Sleep meditations will be the most effective if you pair your meditations with good sleep hygiene. Here are some of our top tips for better sleep:

  • Turn off any screens at least an hour or two before bedtime, and put a red filter on your phone that automatically turns on every evening.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal right before bed.
  • Make your room comfortable and inviting. Your bedding should be soft and relaxing.
  • Darken your room as much as possible. Close the blinds or get darkening curtains.
  • Turn down the temperature. The ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 to 67 degrees.
  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Sound Sleep Medical

Are you having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep? Try some sleep meditation techniques for better sleep. Then visit us at Sound Sleep Medical to find out what’s keeping you from getting the sleep you deserve.