Even though you’re careful about following a regular bedtime, you may need to do more to have a peaceful night’s sleep. Or else, you might be lying still in your bed, but you’re still wide awake because your mind is racing.
You have trouble disconnecting from personal issues like finances and health which is keeping you awake. Perhaps meditation is the answer.
Let’s discuss 13 activities that will enhance the quality and quantity of your sleep by training yourself the skill of getting into mindfulness. Learn how bedtime meditation can benefit you.
Getting Ready For Bedtime Meditation
Planning for bedtime meditation is the same as planning to sleep in many ways. Get in the groove and create a personal space around you that will let you get in the calming mindset easily.
Complete your day by concluding it with these 6 activities:
Slow down. If you’ve been running around all day at 100 mph – relax, disconnect and quiet your mind. Put aside stressful subjects and tasks. Read a book or work on a soothing hobby. I personally like to do word puzzles on my phone or complete a few sudoku puzzles. This really gets my mind on something else. I make that the last thing I do before brushing my teeth and going to bed.
Shut off devices. Bright screens and action movies stimulate your brain, making it harder to fall asleep. Power down your phone and computer. I personally turn the notifications off and my phone changes in the living room. My phone is NEVER in my bedroom. SleepyBliss.com lists the many ways our little devices affect our sleep.
Block out the noise. What about noisy neighbors, AC unit or the dog walking around? Turn on a fan or put in your earplugs. I’ve using earplugs for 6 years now. It took some trial-and-error at first to figure what I was comfortable with…now I can’t go without them.
Eat light. Heavy meals and spicy food can also make it difficult to doze off. I found this particularly true as I got older. If you need a snack, keep it small and nutritious, like a handful of nuts or a bowl of cottage cheese with fruit on top. Discover great little snacks here.
Or better yet, learn to not snack at all and go to bed “slightly hungry”. Most times I found my cravings happened out of boredom. Recently, while locked down during COVID…my kids ate more…not because they were hungry. SleepyDeep.com mentions that the last big meal should be 3 to 4 hours before bed.
Take a warm bath. Soaking in a warm tub is a great way to relax. It will also raise your body temperature, which helps to prepare you for sleep. Here are the details about this technique and how it works.
Dress for success…and feel comfortable. Sleep and meditation call for similar wardrobe choices. Wear loose-fitting pajamas or other soft clothing made from natural fibers. You might also find the fabric of your bedsheets to make a difference. Test it out. I used to be a bed linen snob and go for the high thread count Egyptian cotton. After going through a few, they are comfortable but thin and only lasted a year, I stumbled across a low thread count cotton polyester linen which are so comfortable. Which shows it’s all about personal preference.
7 Topics and Methods for Bedtime Meditation
You may be used to staying alert during daytime meditation. It’s okay to give yourself permission to fall asleep during your nighttime sessions.
Give these ideas a try to for slipping yourself into pleasant dreams:
Run through your body. Experience your body from head to toe. Go over any areas of tension that you can release by imagining that you are bathing them in warm and healing light.
Listen to podcasts or find something you like. Guided meditation can be extremely useful for beginners…but not for everyone. The music might be relaxing but having someone else’s voice talk to you may not be. Browse online for resources you can find on any podcast platform.
Another alternative – find exactly what you’re looking for on YouTube and convert it to audio for your own use. Check this site called MP3Skull.org, to convert a Youtube video you like and download the audio version of it.
Observe your breath. Your meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath. Inhale through your nose. Feel the air filling and lifting your stomach and chest. Relax and release the air gently through your mouth.
Chant and sing. Find a mantra to repeat silently or out loud. Invent your own wording or read some inspirational literature for ideas. As a starting point go check out these 20 Bedtime Affirmations. Included are links to Youtube resources. Bob Baker on YouTube is also a great choice.
Learn Yoga Nidra. There’s a powerful style of yoga just for sleep and this might be exactly the guided meditation you’re looking for.
Yoga Nidra literally means yogic sleep, and it describes a state between wakefulness and sleep. Take classes at a local studio or online to master the techniques. You can find these on YouTube right here.
Express appreciation. There are many beneficial objects you can choose from for placement meditation. Gratitude is an excellent choice for bedtime. Go over your day to recall the acts of kindness you received and generate warm and happy feelings.
Practice your faith. Meditation is a tool that can be used to practice any form of spiritual, religious, or personal beliefs. Include these in your bedtime habits to serve your own purpose and goals. This could be praying and quietly expressing appreciation as discussed above.
Get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer with a bedtime meditation practice. Your nights will be more peaceful, and your days will be more restful when you use mindfulness to increase your mental and physical wellbeing.