In the past decade, meditation has gotten more popular not only as a source of spirituality, but also for its many other benefits. One of its benefits is better sleep. A study done from researchers for the Journal of American Medicine looked at 49 middle-aged adults. One half of the group was slated to go to a sleep education class that would teach them better sleep habits. The other half was to go to a class that would teach them meditation and other mindfulness-based exercises. Both classes were to meet once a week for two hours for six weeks. What the researchers found was that the meditation group experienced less fatigue, depression and insomnia as a result of the material that was learned in their classes.
This article will reveal five ways that you can use meditation and other mindfulness-based exercises to increase the quality of your sleep.
- Breathing From Your Abdominals: Simply breathing from your abdominals and putting all of your focus on those breaths can do wonders for evening relaxation. Many people find that lying in a darkened room with soothing music playing in the background is a great way to unwind before they go to sleep. Experts also say that placing your hand on your abdominals while you breathe is another good way to focus your attention on your breathing. By focusing on your hands and moving stomach, it can take the focus off of your racing thoughts and onto your body.
2. Counting Down Meditation:
- When you lie down for the night, direct your gaze towards the ceiling.
- Breathe in through your abdominals and hold that breath. Let everything go on the out breath.
- Repeat this cycle once or twice.
- Once this is done, try counting down from 20. While you’re counting down in your mind, imagine that you’re walking down a hill or a flight of steps. Each downward step would represent a number. Exhale on each step.
While the breathing and the counting down can work separately, many people find that these two meditation tactics are more effective done together.
3. Mindfulness: For some people, merely putting their focus on one thing works wonder when it comes to evening relaxation. However, putting your focus on one aspect of your life does not mean excessively worrying about a project at work or what will happen after the long newborn adoption process finally ends with a new baby in your home. It could mean focusing on one thing that you are grateful for in life, such as that new baby that’s coming. It could also mean going to a beach, an island getaway, or your favorite European city in your mind, or just a quiet place where you can enjoy Nature and you know as your happy place. Wherever you choose to focus your mind, make sure that you linger there for as long as it makes you feel good.
- Taking Care Of Your Furniture: If you’re starting a meditation practice, it often helps if you designate a certain space for it to take place. Those of you who are planning to meditate on a couch or recliner should spring for an upholstery cleaner. A clean environment should ensure more relaxing meditation sessions, which should then lead to a better night’s sleep.
- Colored Breath: Meditation experts say that visual aids such as imagining your breath to be a certain color can greatly aid in helping your brain to focus and canceling the noise in your head. When doing this meditation, imagine your breath to be red as you breathe in and out. Stop, then continue breathing in another color such as blue. Do this until you are sufficiently relaxed.
Almost 50 percent of Americans say that the quality of their sleep is so poor that it has affected the quality of their day. Imagine how many people could be positively affected by incorporating meditation and other mindfulness-based exercises into their evening routines. Whether you simply breathe from your abdominals as you listen to music, or you focus on things that you’re grateful for, having a quiet evening routine that is based on mindfulness techniques can drastically improve the quality of your sleep in a short period of time.
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