It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping. While there are many causes for sleeping problems, let’s take a look at stress. Many Americans suffer from stress which causes stress and anxiety, keeping us up at night. The body stays in the “on” modus. To train the mind to calm down, meditation is a great way to find some quiet time before going to sleep.
When you meditate, a variety of physiological changes occur. These changes initiate sleep by influencing specific processes in your body.
How to meditate
Meditation is a simple practice that can be done anywhere, anytime. You don’t need special tools or equipment. The only thing you need is a few minutes. However, making the time to meditate seems to be biggest challenge for most of us.
Here are the basic steps of meditation:
- Find a quiet area. Sit or lie down, depending on what feels most comfortable. Lying down is preferable at bedtime.
- Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Inhale and exhale deeply. Focus on your breathing.
- If a thought pops up, let it go and refocus on your breathing.
As you try meditation for sleep, be patient with yourself. A meditation practice is just that — a practice. Start by meditating for 3 to 5 minutes before bed. Over time, slowly increase the time to 15 to 20 minutes. It’ll take time to learn how to quiet your mind. Just remember the benefits of meditation extend far beyond relaxation.
Guided meditation apps
There are great apps which can help you from the comfort of your home. We included 3 that we know and like:
This app is used by some of our Sambrosa team members. What’s cool about this app (besides Lebron James as one of your meditation guides), is that you can choose your subject of interest. Examples: Improve Sleep Quality, Reduce Stress or Self Improvement. It’s a practical way to get started and stay committed.
Costs: $70 dollars annually with a 7 day trial
Inscape brings aesthetics and beauty to meditation. The actual Inscape meditation studio in NYC takes you to tranquility with smells and sounds. Impressingly so, the app gives you the same experience. The app has beautiful playlists to suit your needs.
Costs: $10 monthly
We wanted to include a free app that still delivers on its promise. We have used this app and found some really good meditation sessions. The danger is that because it is free, your commitment is also a bit “free” but Insight Timer is a great app to get started on guided meditations. And maybe you are just a little more disciplined than us!
We wish you Sweet Dreams!