Using relaxation meditation as a natural sleep aid can have significant benefits, for example you may be more rested and thus feel more alert during the day. Even your general sense of overall health may improve in the long term. As a natural aid for sleeping, meditation is safe, easy (once you know how), adaptable, and of course it is free! Moreover, it is easy to do and so a very good meditation for beginners.
Once you discover some of the benefits, you may find you no longer need to rely on sleeping pills to help you fall asleep. Through regular practice, you may even rediscover what life can be like when you sleep easily and soundly.
Most relaxation meditations will also be suitable, but some meditations may be less suitable to help you sleep. For example, certain approaches to meditation actually increase your alertness. So when you come out of such a meditation, you actually do not feel sleepy at all, but full of energy. This is great at the start of the day, but clearly not so useful if you're trying to get to sleep.
Of course there are many other natural ways to help help you go to sleep. For example, it is a good idea to slow down about an hour before you intend to go to bed. And watching TV last thing at night may not help. For me personally, it depends on what I have been watching and how tired I already am when watching TV. When I am exhausted but still watch TV just before going to bed, my mind seems to want to go over everything I just watched, keeping me awake. Whereas, if I am more alert watching TV, then it seems easier to switch off when I am in bed.
Here is a simple exercise to help you sleep at night:
Natural Sleep Aid Relaxation Meditation Example
Get totally ready for bed. Tell your family you're going to bed. Ask them to keep the noise down and answer the phone and take any messages for you. You are not available until tomorrow! If you live by yourself, simply turn your phone off, or pull it out of the wall. Now this natural sleep aid relaxation meditation is intended to be gentle. It is a bit like a mindfulness meditation, but it draws on your memory of the day behind you. It is not a rigid step by step fail-proof recipe, so take it easy and lightly!
into bed, lie down under the covers, or sit up in bed, so you can
easily slip down and go to sleep. Have your arms on the side, or you can
have your hands resting on your lap or legs.
yourself that the things that usually keep us from falling asleep are
the thoughts going through our mind, or some form of discomfort like
pain. So the purpose of this relaxation meditation is to simply calm
your thoughts and let go.
Take three deep breaths, exhaling all the way and relaxing your body.
Become aware of where you are, now, in this moment.
you are going to go backwards through your whole day, picturing in your
mind the things you did. You do not need to do this for every small
detail, but just a general overview. So for example, I am writing this
at 9pm. If I would go over my day backwards just now, I would remember
pointing the browser to the website. Before that I switched on the
laptop. Before that I made some popcorn in the microwave; before that I
talked to my partner; before that had some coffee; before that I came
home in the car; before that I had a massage; and so on. But do all this
slowly, without getting sucked into any memories. Keep going back in
time through the day.
Do this backwards remembering until you get to the start of your day. Remember getting ready in the morning, then remember getting up; before that you woke up. Now if by this time you are still awake, try and remember what your night's sleep was like, how it felt, how sound or otherwise you slept and continue as far back as getting ready for bed last night.
If you do this gently, without getting caught up in the memories but keeping the momentum going of the movement back in time over your day, you'll probably fall asleep before you reach the start of the day. If you are not asleep by the end of Step 7 above, gently reverse the movement of time back to the here and now, that is, go through your day from beginning to end. If you are then still awake, be gentle with yourself. Just accept that this time you are still awake. Allow your thoughts to wander freely and let yourself drift off. If you don't drift off, then so be it. Allow yourself this. Stay calm, it is OK.
Using this meditation regularly as natural sleep aid may have beneifical side-effects, such as increased peace of mind, or improved mental health. You may also experience lucid dreams. these are dreams during which the images are very clear and very realistic. In a lucid dream you may even be able to take control of the course of the dream. I have only had a lucid dream maybe once. It is quite an experience. But keep in mind that the purpose of the above meditation really is just to help you sleep.
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