Lying in bed at night with a million thoughts? Why not try these bedtime meditation techniques to see if it can help you get to sleep.
Do you sometimes struggle to fall asleep at night and instead lie in bed thinking, “Have I closed the fridge door?” or “Did that meeting go well today?”
Rest assured, you’re not alone. The good news is that bedtime meditation may help you get a good night’s sleep.
Meditation for sleep isn’t just for the spiritually minded among us or those who meditate during waking hours. It’s becoming a commonly used practice that can help put your mind and body at rest.
The restorative process promotes a sense of calm and heightened awareness through a deliberate refocusing of attention. Check out other ways meditation can improve your health.
When used at bedtime, meditative techniques may help you shift your attention from your thoughts to falling asleep.
Simple bedtime meditation techniques
Get in a comfortable meditation position – this doesn’t mean you need to sit cross-legged on the floor. You can meditate while lying in bed with your eyes open, before you to drift off to sleep.
Once you are in a comfortable position:
- Concentrate on your breathing. You can focus on counting the number of breaths you take in a minute or concentrate on the movement of air in and out of your nose.
- Allow your mind to clear. Gently imagine all your thoughts moving out of your head, into the air and vanishing up into the sky.
- Focus your attention on a calming object. Look at the shape, size and texture of a photo, a shaded lamp or a tree outside your window.
- Repeat a mantra or phrase. Do this either out aloud or in your head to refocus your thoughts, and consider timing it with each breath.
- Play some soothing music quietly. You can also have a window open to allow a gentle breeze to enter your room.
How long should you meditate?
You don’t need to lie in bed for hours meditating; meditation for sleep can be anywhere from five minutes to half an hour to help you drift off.
Trying to relax as you meditate can help the process. As with sleep, the more you try to force it, the more difficult it can be to practise.
If you find it difficult to focus or your mind keeps wandering, be patient – with time meditation will likely become easier and more natural.
If you do enjoy it and want to make meditation a more regular part of your life, check out our beginner's guide to meditation.