Sick of not being able to sleep at night? You really must try some nighttime meditation. It’s one of the easiest and healthiest ways to cure insomnia so you can get to sleep.
As you may know from our post on meditation for insomnia, meditation can help you get to sleep even if you’re the absolute worst sleeper in the world.
Trust me I should know.
I used to not be able to sleep at all.
For three years at university I didn’t sleep. I tried everything. I tried using natural supplements for insomnia and other natural remedies for insomnia. I tried using sound therapy for sleep. Some of those sleep products worked for a couple of days. But nothing worked more consistently than meditation. The moment I started meditating for an hour before bed, everything changed for me.
Meditation offered me a fast, easy, healthy way to get to sleep at night. And it can do the same for even the worst of insomniacs.
Science proves meditation can cure insomnia
Several scientific studies have proven that meditation helps stop insomnia.
One clinical trial (*1) took 49 insomniacs. Half the group were taught mindfulness. The other half completed a sleep education cast. After six sessions, the group which had practiced mindfulness had significantly reduce levels of insomnia compared to the other group.
The Associated Professional Sleep Societies (*2) looked at 11 research papers on insomnia and concluded that Kriya Yoga (a type of meditation) led to significantly improved quality of sleep (based on subjective analysis).
And in perhaps the most surprising scientific test, researchers found that people who meditate require less sleep than others. Neuroimaging studies are showing that meditation leads to heightened states of awareness and less need for sleep. And that means that even if you still cannot get to sleep, your insomnia symptoms will be reduced if you meditate.
Which meditations cure insomnia
The following meditation techniques for sleep are best done right before getting to bed. But they can also be used throughout the day to help relax so you’re in a mood more conducive to sleep once the time comes.
There are many great meditation techniques for sleep. When you practice meditation before bed you will slow and calm your mind. This will help you to get a good night sleep and some sound rest.
Meditationfor sleep #1: Mindfulness–It quickly silences your thoughts so you can drift off
One of the main causes of insomnia is the inability to let go of thoughts in order to let your mind switch off. And one of the main benefits of meditation is that it helps you to let go of those thoughts.
All those time when you’re lying in bed with your mind running a mile of minute. You know, those times you want to slam your head into the wall. The times when it feels like just going to sleep would be a miracle. At those times, mindfulness will be your new best friend. You can check out our completely free guide to mindfulness meditation here.
To give a brief introduction. To use mindfulness for sleep, first get into bed, give yourself a few minutes to begin to relax, then focus on your breath. While focusing on your breath, allow thoughts and feelings to be released.
Mindfulness is the very best type of meditation for sleep.
Meditation for sleep #2: Abdominal breathing for complete relaxation
You know what’s better than Breathe Right Strips for breathing properly at night? Meditating on your breath, that’s what.
Shallow breathing promotes stress where deep and proper breathing promotes inner calm and relaxation.
One of the best ways to get to sleep is to make sure you are breathing correctly at all times. When you have ten minutes, focus your attention on your breath and imagine air entering deep into your lungs and filling your entire body. This will make you breathe better, promoting better general health and helping to cure insomnia.
If you’d like to know more about proper breathing, you’ll find my guide to breathing meditations very helpful.
This diagram shows how to breath from the abdominals
When you practice meditation for sleep you must breathe correctly. When meditating in bed you want your breathing to be deep and slow to help you relax.
Meditation for sleep #3: Yoga
Yoga is one of the best ways for relaxing both your body and mind.
You don’t need to be a yogi, either. In fact, you don’t really need to know much about yoga at all. All that matters is that a short while before bed you spend so time doing some very basic relaxing yoga moves while focusing on your breath. This will connect mind and body and calm both for complete relaxation that is perfect just before bed.
If you would like to learn more about using yoga for sleep, I highly recommend the work of Dr. Rubin Naiman. Dr. Naiman is a sleep specialist and a true luminary. His work on yoga for sleep is a true eye opener and offers genuine relief for insomniacs.
I recommend The Yoga of Sleep: Sacred and Scientific Practices to Heal Sleeplessness. It is a remarkable work that transforms the way we sleep. It offers genuine relief for insomniacs.
Meditation for sleep #4: Guided Meditation for Sleep
Listening to music or listening to a guide meditation will help with sleep.
A guided meditation is designed to take you on an imaginary relaxing journey.
A guided meditation will help you get to sleep by taking you on a relaxing journey. Many people enjoy settings based on the sea. If you are one of them, then when you get into bed imagine the sights, sounds and feelings associated with a relaxing beach. Allow yourself to feel the warm air, the sand, to hear the wave, to be there.
Pick somewhere that feels safe and relaxing for you. What is relaxing for one person might be horrid to another, so make sure to pick your own scene.
If you would like to use a recorded guided meditation, I highly recommend Jason Stephenson’s Guided Sleep Meditation. Jason has a very relaxing voice and is a truly talented guide.
Alternatively, you may enjoy our free guided meditation for relaxation.
Meditation For Sleep #5: Music
What’s the most relaxing piece of music you’ve ever listened to? And please don’t come at me with something like, “Metallica: Nothing Else Matters”. I mean a really deep relaxing piece of music that makes you mellow out in seconds. I mean like Barber’s Adagio For Stringer. Now that is heavenly.
Relaxing music can help you get to sleep. Not only can you put some music on when your girlfriend (or boyfriend) is lying next to you snoring, but you can also use music to get into that Zen-sational chill-out zone that you want to be in before you hit the sack.
So what music should you listen to? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe just take a look at my collection of the most beautiful meditation music in the world. It’s… divine.
Meditation For Sleep #6: Unicorn Meditation
Follow this meditation to get to sleep. I’ve called it Unicorn meditation. Why? Because unnicorns, that’s why.
By the way. This isn’t a meditation technique I just invented. It’s an ancient practice that incorporates mindfulness, body scan meditation, and visualisation. It truly is a miracle for anyone who’s been struggling to sleep.
So, here’s how to do the technique.
First, get comfortable. Whether you choose to sit up or lie down is entirely up to you, so long as you’re comfortable. Check your spine is in proper alignment too. you don’t want to wake up with a sore back.
How to do Unicorn Dream Sleep Meditation– Step 2
This step is optional, however I personally find it useful. In this step we will perform a body scan to release physical tension. To do this, slowly guide your attention from the crown of your head down to your feet, paying particular attention to the way your body is feeling. If you feel tense in any part of your body, imagine breathing fresh air directly into that spot. This will help your body to relax.
Full instructions on body scan meditation are HERE.
How to do Unicorn Dream Sleep Meditation– Step 3
Having relaxed your body it’s now time to relax your mind. To do so, simply focus on the sensation of your breath coming and going through your nose. Don’t control your breath simply observe it. If your attention is distracted by thoughts, don’t worry, simply acknowledge the thought and return your focus to your breath.
How to do Unicorn Dream Sleep Meditation– Step 4
Because you are meditating when tired you will experience occasional imaginings (just as you do when you begin to go to sleep). If you’ve been struggling to sleep it can be tempting to grip onto these imaginings and hope you’ll drift off. Don’t do this. Continue focusing on your breath. After a few minutes your mind will be so relaxed that you will naturally go to sleep.
So there you are. Relaxed. Feeling tranquil. At peace. And ready to drift off to sleep.