If you’re desperate for a good night’s sleep, one of the best bedtime habits to adopt is meditation; it’s a fantastic way to allow your mind and body to relax enabling you to drift off into a deep and rejuvenating sleep. Below are some excellent steps for a short meditation programme that will help those who are sleep deprived and need their beauty sleep back.
Generally the meditation would take no longer than 15 minutes, but you can meditate for as long as you feel necessary. Ideally you want to meditate every night before you go to bed, as part of your evening/bedtime wind down routine once the kids have been put to bed. This method could also be used if you wake during the night, and are struggling to get back to sleep.
Step 1: Get Yourself Comfy
Find a comfortable position on your bed that suits you, ideally lying down on your back with your feet spread a good distance apart. Allow your arms to relax alongside your body with your palms facing upwards. Close your eyes.
Step 2: Breath
Start the process by taking several deep breaths and allow time for your attention to settle on the rising and falling of your chest and abdomen. Also take a moment to study your how your breath moves in and out of your nostrils, feeling cooler as it enters your nostrils and slightly warmer as it leaves. Don’t try to play around with the breath in anyway, just observe how it feels.
Step 3: Body
Now its time to attention to the places where your body is in contact with the mattress – your lighter body parts will be pressing lightly against the mattress, whilst your heavier body parts will be pressing more forcefully into the mattress. Now slowly begin to scan through the length of your body, tuning your attention into to every body part which you sense contact with the mattress.
Try to notice any other encounters you may have with your body? Tingling sensations, heat or coolness, tension or relaxation. Mindfulness and meditation is simply about non-judgementally noticing what is going on in the moment.
Step 4: Kindness
As cheesy or cringey as this may sound, you now need to turn your attention back to your chest and belly region. Sense how this area continues to lift and drop without efforts as your breathe. Begin to place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. You must begin to imagine your hands filling up with kindness and sending this sense of love and kindness through your body.
Step 5: Open your eyes
If you’re using meditation to fall asleep, then continue as you are and ideally you will drift off to sleep peacefully. If you want to awaken yourself after the meditation, start wiggling your toes, then continue slowly moving your whole body until you are ready to slowly open your eyes.