Many people are familiar with the feeling of being too stressed to sleep. Once you start having sleep problems it can trigger anxiety around the idea of sleep, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. A great tip is to start meditating before bed as this can help relieve stress and help you fall asleep naturally.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a type of mind-body therapy involving mental and physical relaxation methods like deep breathing. By targeting both anxious thoughts and physical stress symptoms, sleep meditation will help relax your whole body and prepare you for sleep. At MiniJumbuk, we love all things sleep related and have included a couple of different ways to practice meditation and help you relax before sleep. You should approach meditation gently with a relaxed focus to calm your mind and body to relax and drift off to sleep.
Mindfulness practices involve concentrating on the present. They allow you to experience emotions and thoughts without judgment.
Breathing exercises: This involves regulating your breath — counting breaths, for example — and eventually slowing your breathing down, signalling to your body that it’s time for sleep.
Guided meditation involves listening to an audio recording that helps direct your thoughts as you meditate. For example, a guided meditation track may tell you how to adjust your breathing, work through your thoughts, or interpret physical sensations.
Yoga can also help you relax and get a good night's sleep. Yoga involves sustained and gentle stretches, slow and steady breathing and moving at a measured pace. We have listed a couple of poses to try before you jump into bed.
- Locust Pose: Lower yourself and come to lying on your belly with your feet about hip-distance apart. If you prefer extra cushioning, place a folded blanket beneath your hips. Clasp your hands behind your back or, if you have tight shoulders, bend your elbows, and lift your arms toward your ears. Exhale and press the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you lift your chest and arms into a locust pose. Gaze forward and slightly down. Remain here for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths. Release your hands beneath your shoulders, inhale, and push yourself up to your hands and knees. Exhale as you push back to Downward-Facing Dog.
- Lizard Pose: Bring your left foot forward between your hands and lower your right knee to the floor. Walk your left foot to the outer edge of your mat and place your elbows or forearms on a block or the floor. Remain here for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths.
- Standing forward bend: Stand with your feet hip-width apart or a little wider, bring a slight bend to your knees, and hinge at your hips to fold forward in a standing forward bend. Loosely hold opposite elbows, keeping a relaxed grip, or allow your hands to rest alongside your feet. Exhale and lengthen through your back, allowing your neck and shoulders to relax and your head to lower toward the mat. Remain here for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths.
- Bridge pose: Start by lying on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart directly beneath your knees. Inhale and lift your pelvis. Place a block under your sacrum, open your arms onto the floor in a cactus shape, then lift your heart. Remain here for 10-15 breaths or 1 minute.
- Easy pose: Sit with your legs crossed. Close your eyes and tune into the rhythm of your breath. Become aware of your heartbeat. Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and ground down through your seat. Rest your hands on your knees.
Do all these exercises for 1 minute or 10-15 breaths.
Source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/meditation-for-sleep https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/yoga-by-benefit/insomnia/15-poses-help-sleep-better/