Meditation Helps You Sleep and Energize Your Holiday Time

meditationMeditation is a practice that is portable, profound, and powerful.  It improves and deepens your life in all sorts of ways, ranging from the spiritual to the physical.

Today I want to share about how you can improve your sleep – and therefore boost your  energy – through meditation.

Meditation is a practice that you build over time. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes for you. But even right from the start,  a few moments of meditation can help you fall asleep faster and also improve the quality of your sleep. Indeed, you may find that meditation helps you feel more refreshed with fewer hours of slumber.

Here are 7 simple practices that encourage mindfulness and bring you more energy … anytime.

Meditation Practices to Do Anytime

  • Breathe deeply. Breathing fully from your abdomen gets more oxygen to your brain. You’ll have more energy all day long and feel more relaxed when night falls.
  • Scan your body. Get in the habit of paying attention to your body. When you notice an ache or pain, try adjusting your position to address small discomforts before they build up and interfere with your energy and your sleep.
  • Become more mindful. Focusing on the present moment helps you stay calm. Studies show that multi-tasking erodes concentration and creates stress that contributes to insomnia.
  • Let go of judgments. Meditation also helps develop a mind free from judgment. As you observe your thoughts you notice (and reduce) negative self-talk.
  • Identify obstacles. If some thoughts recur as you meditate, they could be trying to tell you something. They may be issues you need to resolve so you can sleep better.
  • Try Yoga or Tai chi. Exercises like these are especially helpful when you approach them as a mental discipline as well as a physical workout. They encourage deep breathing, stress reduction and enhanced concentration.
  • Use meditation to complement sleep. People who go on prolonged retreats are sometimes surprised that meditating all day may dramatically reduce their need for sleep at night. Proceed at your own pace to find the right combination of sleep and meditation for you. You may someday find that your body requires less sleep as you meditate more.

Ready to explore meditation and the ways it can enhance your life – and especially the quality of your sleep?  Let’s get a bit more concrete, with these 5 specific tips, to use at night and in the morning.  I think you’ll find them very helpful!

Meditation Practices for Bedtime and Upon Waking

1. Limit your screen time. Meditation works wonders and stepping away from the TV or the internet will help you fall asleep. Studies show that many Americans are suffering from sleep problems because of the mental stimulation and looking at a brightly lit screen just before retiring. Turn all your devices off at least an hour before bed.

2. Create a quiet setting. Silence is conducive to both meditation and sleep. Now that you’ve got the TV off, put your phone away too.

3. Take the pressure off. Getting anxious about falling asleep is enough to keep you up at night. By shifting your attention to more constructive activities, you’ll dispel these tensions.

4. Use guided imagery or phrases. You can adapt some of the concepts you use in your meditation when you’re going to sleep. Select any soothing image or thought and allow your mind to become fully engaged with it. You might think about a still lake or a line of poetry.  If you wake up after falling asleep, return your mind to your object of meditation.

5. Wake up more gently. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day so you can wake up naturally without using an alarm clock. Easing your mind awake gradually enables you to transition gently, reflecting on dreams and welcoming the new day.

Meditation is a safe and effective method for alleviating insomnia. These techniques will enhance your sleep time and boost your energy, no matter what else is going on in your life!

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