Going to bed and getting a restful night’s sleep is about more than just laying down and closing your eyes. The biggest challenge is to calm your mind and find relaxation. The most effective method for this is to start the sleep process before you actually go to bed. Meditation techniques can help you calm your mind and release stress from your body. That way, you are physically and mentally ready for sleep when you go to bed.
Try out these five meditation techniques as a part of your bedtime routine.
Create the Right Setting
Before we get into the meditation techniques, it is best to start with the right setting and atmosphere. You need to be in a quiet place with dim lighting. This helps you to focus on your meditation without breaking your mental train of thought.
For many of these meditation exercises, you need to lay down. You should have a mattress that’s the right level of soft or hard for your preference. Then dress it with a set of soft sheets that are breathable to keep you cool and comfortable. Spread a down comforter over the bed to give you an extra bit of cushion and plush. Finish your bed with a reversible faux fur Sherpa blanket. This creates a feeling of luxury and coziness that you can wrap around you while meditating.
1. Abdominal Breathing
Engaging in slow deep breathing is a physical way of signaling to your body that it is time to slow down and relax. This method of meditation centers around using your abdominal or diaphragm to engage the large muscle that is located at the base of your lungs.
To try this method yourself, lay down and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in deep through your nose so that your stomach hand rises while your chest hand doesn’t move. Then breathe out through pursed lips by tightening your stomach, so it falls. Repeat this method of breathing in and out until you feel relaxed. It can feel strange at first, so you may only be able to do it for a few minutes. As you practice, you will be able to breathe for longer.
2. Counting Down
Start by lying down and gazing upwards without focusing on anything in particular. Take a deep breath using your abdominal muscles. When you exhale, imagine yourself walking down a hill or descending a flight of stairs. Every breath you let out is one more step down. Try counting down from ten or twenty.
3. Mindful Meditation
This method has you focusing on different aspects of your life before you go to sleep. The idea is to address everything and then let it go. This frees your mind and prevents it from racing with unaddressed thoughts when you are trying to sleep. You can practice this meditation technique by simply thinking about things, or you can release them physically by writing them down. Focus on one topic at a time and dedicate your full attention to it. Then purposefully let each issue go.
4. Guided Imagery
Unlike other meditation techniques on this list, there are no rules with this one. All you have to do is imagine a calming and serene setting. For some people, this is a tropical beach, while for others, it could be a mountain hike. Your imagery could be as generalized or as specific you want. Maybe you are simply floating in the sky with clouds? For some people, it isn’t about visualizing a place. Maybe you find it more relaxing when you imagine an activity. It could be clearing off your desk at the end of the day or drawing in the sand. Immerse yourself in the imagery and allow your brain to explore. What you are doing is tricking your brain into thinking you are actually experiencing this relaxing activity. It is a similar effect as when you watch a scary movie, and your adrenaline goes up.
5. Body Scan
Practicing this type of meditation requires you to focus on different parts of your body with slow and focused attention. Start by laying on your bed in a comfortable position. Take several deep breaths with your diaphragm to start the relaxation process. Start at the bottom by focusing on your toes. Visualize yourself, releasing any tension you feel here. When you feel ready, move up to your feet and repeat the process. Repeat this process at your calves and as you move up through the rest of your body. You are finished when you reach your forehead and have scanned your entire body.
Start Sleeping Better Tonight
Too many Americans struggle with sleep each night. You don’t have to be one of them. Start your bedtime routine a little earlier and include the meditation technique that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to combine techniques. You could practice abdominal breathing while doing your body scan, counting down, or imagery.Create the right setting for your meditation with the Viscosoft Collection of Bedding.