For centuries, meditation has been recognized as a practice that helps us feel calmer and more present, but can it help us sleep?
Lifesavvy is sleep doctor, Nilong Vyas, MD, Sleepless, NOLA, Medical Review Specialist sleep foundation, How meditation affects sleep Austin, Texas-based breathwork and mediation facilitator Jen Emsweiler, meditation and mobility expert Chris Gavin ritual movement About the exact method of meditation for sleep.
What does meditation for sleep do?
Vias and Breus were the first to share it Meditation can affect sleep quality Scientifically, it modifies networks in the brain to improve neuronal connectivity not only in their function but also in their ability to change and re-pattern (neuroplasticity).
In other words, the habit of meditating before bed can change your “sleep archetype,” increasing the state known as slow-wave sleep (SWS), where the body is most restorative, Viers explained.
People who meditate regularly have higher levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in their brains and lower levels of cortisol.
“Let me be clear: meditation itself does not induce sleep. This is a huge misconception in the public and popular media,” Breus said. “However, it appears to have a lasting effect on sleep quality, meaning it may help improve sleep quality over time.”
Meditation helps you sleep longer because it reduces stress and worry (especially nighttime thoughts). help relieve pain, and trigger the body’s “relaxation response”. Together, these create the perfect environment for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Benefits of meditation for sleep
Meditation before going to bed is beneficial for everyone. Whether you’re a busy parent, a full-time student, or a full-time employee, sleep is important. Our sleep doctors and meditation experts have uncovered some key takeaways on how regular nightly meditation practices can benefit your sleep cycle and overall health.
some of the most powerful the study So far, meditation-based practices have been cited as the best tools for combating stress, anxiety, and even depression.
“Working with clients who struggle with anxiety, have trouble falling asleep, or have trouble falling asleep, meditating just before or during sleep relaxes the body and reduces anxiety and stress. We found that it had a big effect on the stress,” Emsweiler said.
Meditation was originally designed to slow your breathing, lower your heart rate, and lower your blood pressure.When this happens, your rest and digestion system It flips on and helps to ease the head-turns of those suffering from anxiety and high levels of stress. rest and digestion system parasympathetic nervous system. Its role in lowering heart rate can help you get the most out of your meditation practice.
A characteristic impression of meditation is finding a place of silence, rest and relaxation. By lowering your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure, and increasing your mindfulness in the present moment, meditation not only lowers your stress levels, but it also enhances your so-called “mental state.”relaxation response]to the mind and body.
Simply put, our sleep doctor Explain that the relaxation response is at work when blood pressure and heart rate drop, breathing patterns calm, muscles release from tense or tense states, and the rest and digestion system turns on instead of the fighting spirit. did. Flight.
One of the biggest benefits of meditation shared by both Sleep Foundation doctors was pain relief. If you suffer from persistent pain, lowering the pain dial will definitely improve your sleep quality.
Pain may be felt in our bodies, but it is the brain that senses it. the study Meditation practices for people coping with pain have been shown to directly relate to areas within the brain. regulate pain—The front part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) and the hypothalamus (on the side of the brainstem), to name a few.
same study Meditation has been shown to be most effective in reducing pain if you set aside at least 20 minutes of meditation time.
If you are part of 22% of the population People all over the country who suffer from insomnia, extreme difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sleep meditation, or bedtime meditation may be just what you need.
meditation expertDr. Emswiller revealed that regular meditation practice can help regulate sleep patterns, especially in people with irregular sleep-wake cycles and insomnia.
“the study Meditation has been shown to improve overall sleep quality. Meditators experience less sleep disturbances, wake up less frequently during the night, and are more likely to report feeling more rested when they wake up,” Emsweiler said.
Emsweiler went on to explain that sleep meditation literally activates the part of the brain that controls sleep. It also increases the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (the precursor hormone of melatonin).
how to meditate for sleep
Finding a quiet environment can go a long way in reaping all the benefits meditation offers, especially when it comes to preparing for a good night’s sleep.
Meditation is an ancient practice that takes many forms. Our meditation expert recommends trying these three of his meditation practices before bed. It is shown To improve quality and integrity Sleep quality, especially consistency.
Emswiller endorsed the positive effects of mindfulness meditation. This is because this particular practice has been shown to work for chronic pain and sleep onset problems. Mindfulness meditation he can also do for a minute or two if he finds it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time in silence.
To begin practicing mindfulness meditation, focus your attention on the present moment without self-criticism.
“By cultivating awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise, you can cultivate a sense of calmness and relaxation. It’s especially helpful for mitigation,” Emsweiler said.
If you’re feeling full of energy before bed, a moving meditation may be just what you need to calm your mind and help you sleep better.
Iyengar yoga pays attention to body alignment and carefully sequences forward, backward, seated and lying postures to prepare the body and mind for restful sleep.
“When you move your body, slow, gentle inhalations and long, long exhalations play a pivotal role in regulating your nervous system. It promotes a calm and meditative state,” explained Gavin.
If you want to try Iyengar yoga, I recommend this place. Iyengar yoga video for sleep. All you need is a mat, wall, pillow or yoga bolster.
Body Scan Meditation: Yoga Nidra
A body scan is a form of sleep meditation recommended by both meditation experts and sleep doctors. This type of guided meditation focuses on her one part of the body at a time to promote relaxation and stillness in tense and tense muscles.
One type of body scanning technique that aids sleep is yoga nidra.
“Both serotonin and melatonin are naturally released in the body during the practice of Yoga Nidra, creating anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects. It helps uncover and release unresolved emotions,” Gavin said.
Gavin recommends starting your yoga nidra practice in a quiet, cool room with plenty of room to stretch. He also suggests keeping your feet, legs and torso warm with blankets. Place a rolled towel under your neck and over your eyes to further relax your body during your Yoga Nidra practice.
During practice, try to bring sensation and awareness to all parts of your body that you tend to forget in your daily life, such as the back of your elbows and ankles.
As you can see, meditation comes in many forms that improve sleep quality. Evening meditation can accommodate different energy levels and preferences. All our experts agree that if you meditate consistently over time, you will see improved rest.