7 Benefits Of Practicing Meditation Before Bed
Winding down after a busy day can sometimes feel impossible. If you’re like millions of Americans who have trouble falling asleep at night, you understand how frustrating it can be to toss and turn, in the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep.
Been wondering, “How do I destress myself before bed?” First of all, join the club, we have T-shirts. Second of all – we’ve got the answer, and it’s meditation! There are tons of benefits of practicing meditation before bed. Keep reading for the many reasons you should be integrating meditation into your nighttime routine.
Is it good to meditate before sleep?
Meditation can help you in so many ways. If you’re just starting to set up a meditation practice, you might be wondering “Is it better to meditate in the morning or night?”. While you’ll experience advantages when meditating at any point in the day (morning included), there are specific benefits that you can get if you set aside time to meditate before you head to sleep.
The best part of meditation is that you don’t need a huge chunk of time to do it, which is good for those of us (i.e. all of us) with tons of responsibilities and demanding schedules. Many people have found that even setting aside 10–15 minutes every night before bed can end up leading to a more restful sleep and a more peaceful mind.
Here’s a list of reasons why meditation can be beneficial before bedtime. With meditation, you can…
1. Have more restful sleep
Skip those side-effect heavy sleep aids or your nightly ritual of scrolling through Instagram before turning out your light. Those things are either harming your sleep or helping you fall asleep in an unnatural way. Try meditating instead!
So how does meditation improve sleep exactly? Meditation can allow you to fall into a deeper, more restful sleep than you would get otherwise, because your entire system is more relaxed. After implementing a meditation practice, you’ll most likely find that you toss and turn much less and are getting sleep that’s more rejuvenating for your system.
2. Get more hours of sleep
If you’re someone who can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep no matter what you try, we hear you. But never fear: meditating can be a really valuable tool. Since your body and brain are in a more rested state after meditation, you’re able to stay asleep for longer periods of time. Taking a little time to meditate can help you get more hours of that high-quality shut-eye you need to function the next day.
3. Find it easier to fall asleep
Ever feel like it’s impossible to turn your brain off at night? If your thoughts are cycling around at tilt-a-whirl speeds, it can be difficult to fall asleep (or fall into deep REM sleep). But by meditating, you’ll be providing your brain with some cooldown time where it doesn’t have to constantly stress about work, kids, finances, etc. Most people report it being much easier to fall asleep after they’ve spent some time meditating.
4. Have a more calm, peaceful brain at night
As previously mentioned, nights can feel a lot less stressful if you’re able to calm your brain before you’re getting ready to fall asleep. Meditating can give you a way to access a more peaceful state before it’s time to hit the hay – and a calmer brain means easier, better sleep (and sweeter dreams).
5. Better mentally separate from your day
You might find it’s difficult to fall asleep because you’re too busy thinking about how your day went, reliving or stressing about challenging moments. By setting aside some time for meditation, you’re giving your brain the message that it’s time to stop worrying about the day you’ve just had. It can serve as a marker for your brain to set aside what’s already happened and then become more in tune with what your brain and body need now (typically the answer to that is rest!).
6. Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
Many people struggle with anxiety and depression, which are also leading causes for insomnia. Studies have shown that these conditions can be alleviated with regular meditation practice. That’s partly because meditation forces us to stay in the present moment, which can lead us to being more aware of our thoughts and feelings. By regularly tuning into your own system, some of these symptoms can be lessened – all of which can lead to more restful sleep.
7. Relieve physical tension in your body
Meditation can actually help your physical body along with your emotional or spiritual self. Guided meditations allow you to connect with different parts of your body. Accompanied by deep breathing, this can be a way for you to relieve tension that’s residing in different areas of your body. Most of us carry a lot of tension and stress in our bodies (are you clenching your jaw or hunching in your seat right now? We thought so). Meditating can be a way to focus on those problem areas and release any tension that’s there. A less tense body means you’re more able to fall asleep quicker and easier.
If you need ideas on how to get started meditating, a quick Google search will give you some info. There are also a ton of super helpful meditation apps that can lead you through guided meditations. Most offer a range of options so you can spend as much or as little time as you want on your meditation practice. At the end of the day, you can experiment with which types of meditation fit your lifestyle the best so that your practice will be 100% customized to your needs and preferences.
Quieting your mind can be an invaluable tool to help you manage stress and tension. By setting time aside to meditate every night, you’re giving your brain and body the signal that it’s time to relax and get some rest. If a good night’s sleep is calling your name, why not start your meditation practice tonight?