Do you find it difficult to sleep at night? Does your mind start racing the moment you lay your head on the pillow? Meditation before bed may be just the solution for you. Not only does meditation help relax your mind, but it also helps release stresses of the day and prevents insomnia. In fact, meditation has the same effect on the body as sleep – your pulse slows down, your blood pressure drops and your stress hormones decrease. When your body enters this phase before bedtime, it makes drifting off to sleep easier.
Some experts, however, feel one should not meditate too close to bedtime. They believe the real purpose of meditation is to awaken all your senses fully and this can be counterproductive to sleep. This is only partially true as meditation helps you clear your mind of all worries. The less stressed you are, the more peaceful your sleep will be. But before we see meditation before bedtime in detail, let’s know what is the best time to meditate?
What is the best time to meditate?
Meditating every day can help improve your health. It enhances concentration and lowers stress. So, what is the ideal time for meditation?
First thing in the morning
If you plan to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, you must begin your day with meditation. This energises you and sets the tone for the day. Ideally, you should practice meditation before your breakfast. If you have just started meditating, begin with a few simple breathing exercises for a few minutes.
When you feel stressed
Meditate for a few minutes whenever you are stressed or overwhelmed. Meditation helps you relax and calm your mind so that you can think clearly and plan your next step. Meditation enables you to take better decisions as you can make wrong choices if you are stressed.
End of your work day
End your day at work with a few minutes of meditation. This helps as it creates a natural boundary between working hours and more stress-free time spent at home. This way you don’t bring your work stresses home and spend a happier time at home.
Whenever you get the time
Meditation has numerous health benefits. Do not limit it to fixed times in a day. Meditate for a few minutes during any time of the day. Be it lunchtime or on your way home or even before bedtime meditation will help calm your nerves and relax you.
Though many experts do not recommend meditation right before sleep, they feel there should be an hour’s gap between meditation and sleep. They feel these two activities should stay separate in our awareness and habits.
How to meditate before sleep?
These techniques work best when done before sleep in a quiet and calm environment.
Lie on your bed and place your hands on your belly. Take a deep breath from your abdomen and release gently. When you breathe your hands will also move. Focus your mind on this movement and take your mind off all the other matters of the day.
Imagine you are in a calm place to get your mind off the stresses of the day. I can be anything like lying on a peaceful beach or even walking through the misty air of the mountains. It can be real or someplace from your imagination. This will help calm down your mind.
Focus on the different aspects of your life that are troubling you and letting them go helps a lot. Focus on one issue at a time. For some people, it also helps to note down their worries.
Spend 15 minutes to write down your thoughts in a diary. Now for the next 15 minutes write down the solutions to this problem. Process the solutions to your problems during the day, rather than letting them keep you up at night.
Lie down on your bed and gaze up. Take a deep breath, hold it, and then slowly release it. Now imagine you are walking down the steps in a beautiful garden and exhale at every step. This will help you relax.
Frequently asked questions
How can I learn to meditate?
The best technique to learn meditation is to start doing it. You will learn it when you do it yourself. Hearing others talk about it or explain the techniques will be of little help. Having the desire to be at peace and practice is all you need to learn how to meditate.
Where should I meditate?
Though there is no strict rule about where you should meditate, having an assigned area for this purpose is helpful. Create a conducive atmosphere in this space to help you ease into a meditative mood.
Can meditation help me sleep better?
Yes, mindful meditation, a meditation technique that focuses on your breathing and awareness, can help you in sleeping better. This technique involves concentrating on your breathing and focussing your mind on the present. This helps your brain to stop drifting off into the worries of the past.
- Also read: How much sleep do I need?
Can meditation help me have lucid dreams?
There is a direct link between lucid dreams and meditation. Both practices involve a higher state of awareness and help you become focused and self-aware. This higher state of awareness allows you to fall asleep while having lucid dreams.
Meditation needs practice, so be patient. You may not be able to master all these techniques all at once. Start with whatever you find the easiest and incorporate it into your daily routine. Start with a few minutes and slowly take it to 20 minutes a day. Meditation before bed helps to relax your body and mind. It enables you to sleep better, with minor disruptions during the night.