Sound sleep is good. It is good not just for your physical health but also for your emotional and mental health. Period. Good sleep is indeed great for your all-around health.
Three out of every ten Americans have problems sleeping well. It’s one thing to lie on the bed for eight hours; it’s another thing to get eight hours of body-relieving sleep.
Although seven hours of sleep is recommended for a sound body and mind, many people can’t sleep that many hours. Some people would give anything to get eight hours of sound sleep every night.
Everyone knows the role that sound sleep plays in the body. To get the body in proper shape, adequate rest is required. Without optimum sleep, the body is stressed and can’t perform optimally. Interestingly, sleep costs nothing.
But sleep may be tough to find. Insomnia, which may be mild or chronic, is when a person finds it difficult to sleep soundly. About one in ten people have severe difficulty sleeping at night.
Although most sleeping disorders can be linked to the person’s lifestyle, once it becomes prolonged, it may be challenging to rectify even if the things that caused it are removed.
Meditation is one popular way of combating insomnia. This can be of help when you want to get sleep. We’ll be looking at not just meditation but also guided meditation to improve sleep. If you don’t know what guided meditation is, we’ll look at it
Although an individual can carry out meditation, we’ll look at how the practice can be guided. Generally, guided meditation works because it can help reduce tension in your body.
When you practice guided sleep meditation, you can improve how you sleep. And just like its name, it is a guided procedure. So, how is it done? or what exactly is it?
What is Guided Meditation?
Meditation is one of the ways by which people relieve stress, relax the body and clear the mind. It works well for sleep because a clouded mind makes sleeping difficult. When you can clear the mind through meditation, the body relaxes faster, and sleep becomes easier.
All forms of meditation move your focus away from your clouded mind to your body. When people try to clear their minds in time for sleep, they often struggle to achieve it because the more they think about getting the thoughts off the mind, the more the body is tempted to resist the fighting thoughts, and the more awake they become.
Sleep meditation is simply what it means, meditating just before you sleep. You can clear your mind and relax your body in time for a good night’s sleep when you do. Over time, you’ll find that meditation improves your sleeping pattern. Guided meditation is a type of meditation that is used to improve sleep.
Guided meditation works through audio recordings that offer directions on shifting your focus from the thoughts in your mind, no matter how troubling they are, to more relaxing thoughts that make you fall asleep quickly.
Once you can switch off your worrying thoughts, there are no barriers to relaxing and sleeping soundly.
The audio serves as a vehicle that guides you away from your thoughts to sensations in your body. While you’re still being guided in this procedure, you’ll often find yourself falling asleep.
So, guided meditation is a procedure in which an audio recording is used to relax the body by directing the mind from thoughts to sensations in the body. As the name suggests, it is a guided procedure. As you follow the instructions, tension leaves your body, and you are relaxed.
How does guided meditation help you sleep?
Meditation is known to improve the body generally. It improves your mood, reduces anxiety, and helps increase your focus. If you’re recovering from pain, meditation is also known to help improve the body’s response while your heart, blood pressure, and cognition are also enhanced. However, our concern is on how meditation improves sleep.
Guided meditation is a procedure that helps the body relax easily. It works with an audio recording that guides the user through a series of instructions meant to move the thoughts away from the mind to specific parts of the body.
During your guided meditation, you are directed to move through different body parts and observe the sensations in different parts. The various sensations could include tingling, tightness, and heaviness. The audio then addresses that part of the body by helping you relax it.
For example, you may feel some tightness in your arms. You will then relax as you think about your arms and breathe gently as you release the tension.
How is this achieved? It’s done by instructing you to breathe gently as you move from one part of the body to another. Also, you are instructed to visualize the problems or worries as though they were floating away like clouds while visualizing images of serenity and peace.
The more peaceful your mind is, the easier you can fall asleep. As you visualize your worries as clouds floating away, your mind becomes lighter, and sleeping becomes possible.
By releasing the heaviness in the mind, the body relaxes faster. Therefore, guided meditation helps the body release the thought that makes sleeping difficult. With the instructions in guided meditation sessions, you can release the tension and sleep.
One of the greatest struggles people with insomnia have is getting rid of their thoughts. It leads to a vicious cycle. The body would rather sense a struggle, and the response to trouble is to produce more substances to combat it. This would keep the body awake and alert rather than relaxed.
Guided meditation produces the opposite effect. By transporting the body to realms of serenity, guided meditation allows the body to rest.
Let’s look at a step-by-step procedure for performing guided meditation for sleep.
How to Perform Guided Meditation for Sleep
First, you should know that there’s no strict guided meditation method. However, the concept remains the same. It directs your mind and focuses away from the thoughts in your head to the sensations in your body. The technique is proven to rest the body and introduce sleep.
Sometimes, one guided meditation method works for one person and not for another. If you’ve practiced a form of guided meditation and have not achieved the desired results, it may not be because the procedure isn’t potent, but it could be because that particular method isn’t suited for you
Guided meditation methods include visualization, deep breathing, counting, body scanning, silence, and gratitude. The basic steps of guided meditation involve sitting or lying down in a quiet area just before bed, and with the eyes closed, breathing slowly but deeply.
It also involves taking the thoughts away from the mind to the directions and instructions of the guide. The guide may instruct you to breathe and may also ask you to visualize images or even a sound.
Guided meditation requires an audio recording where the instructions are contained. Once you select a recording, find a quiet place and close your eyes. You should use a location where you can fall asleep, preferably in your bed.
Once in the bed, lie down and breathe slowly but deeply. You can only begin the process when your total focus is on the voice in the recording. You’re then given specific instructions which are meant to relax your mind.
As you follow the instructions, you begin to lose the weight of your burdens and fall asleep. If you find it difficult to concentrate on the voice, then it may mean you’ve not prepared yourself well for the procedure.
Let’s look at the commonest methods.
This method is ideal for people who have problems sleeping because their mind is too crowded. The instructor guides you to breathe deeply, after which you begin to scan your body from your head to your toes.
You notice its condition in each part of your body and then release tension by breathing. As you move from one body part to another, you turn your attention from your thoughts to your body; you systematically relieve your body of tension which relaxes your mind.
Guided meditation could also instruct you to meditate on things that bring you joy and happiness, which you should be grateful for.
As you focus on things you are grateful for, it relaxes the body. Your relaxed state transports you into a restful state, and in no time, the body is relaxed enough to fall asleep.
Guided meditation could also involve visualizing scenes that relax the body. This procedure uses images to take you to places that ease your mind. The recording may instruct you to visualize certain serene and very relaxing images, like the beach or a beautiful garden.
Once you meditate on the scene, you are asked to imagine certain things while still on your bed. So, you can then be transported from the rowdy cluster in your mind to the fantastic serenity of your visualizations.
Best music to accompany guided meditation for sleep
We all know the role music plays in relaxing the body. But for people who have problems with sleep, music can also be beneficial in providing a meditation guide.
The problem with music is that it may distract rather than enhance meditation. However, certain types of music are designed to help you meditate easily. Some are songs, while others are beats. Let’s look at some of them.
- 432Hz Miracle Tone: This tune is designed for a short meditation and can induce slower breathing. This would decrease the heart rate and relax the body.
- Binaural Beats: Binaural Beats are a beat in which two different tunes play indifferent ears. When two beats are playing simultaneously, and one beat plays on the left, and another plays on the right, the anxiety is lowered in the body.
- Classical music: Contemporary classical music is designed to keep you calm and composed. With this kind of music, you can keep your mind in a state where meditation can proceed smoothly.
Guided meditation makes it easy to sleep whenever you have insomnia. If you practice it well, you will sleep better over time. As you improve, you may not need the guide anymore.
It works well if you’re able to discipline yourself to control your thoughts. Once can guide your thoughts, you will be able to keep your mind clear enough to sleep well.