Does this sound familiar? You’re lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, but your mind is racing. You’re exhausted, but can’t turn off your brain. Instead, you lie awake, remembering the things you didn’t get done that day, the argument you had with a co-worker, that time in 3rd grade you threw up on the field trip to the zoo. The next thing you know it’s 2:00 AM and you still haven’t fallen asleep. Sadly, for many Americans, this is all-too relatable.
Luckily, here at Mattress Direct, we’re always available to provide helpful (and free!) tips to help you get a deeper, more restorative night’s sleep. Today, to reduce anxiety that can lead to insomnia, we’d like to recommend meditation.
Several sleep studies show even twenty minutes of focused meditation can lead to falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. Meditation can seem a little intimidating to the uninitiated, but at its simplest, it’s really just practicing mindfulness of moment-by-moment thoughts and experiences. By focusing on breathing, you can keep your mind from drifting to the stresses of the past and future. Some people focus on the way their lungs fill and empty, others on the sounds their breathing makes, and still others focus on the flow of air in and out of the nose. Experiencing each breath for what it is, allows you to focus on the present, which is the essence of mindful meditation. Becoming distracted, and letting thoughts creep into your mind as you meditate is normal. Instead of trying to push them away, recognize what is happening, and then shift your focus back to the rhythms of your breathing. Don’t worry if It’s hard at first, most things are!
The longer you stick with it, the easier it will be.
Focused meditation will allow your body to become accustomed to relaxation, which you can then use to push away “inner chatter” at bedtime. Falling asleep faster, and staying asleep longer will mean more deep, restorative REM sleep, which means more energy and alertness during the day. There are plenty of other resources online for best meditation practices for beginners. Find some that work for you! Good luck, and good night.