Meditate before bed sounds like a good idea, but getting started can in itself seem overwhelming. After a busy day at work, it can be difficult to let go and return to a state of inner calm. The thoughts come and go, we are already preparing the day of tomorrow mentally with scenarios that will certainly never happen. And once the time to go to bed comes, our mind remains awake, polluted by the flow of incessant thoughts. It’s time to get meditating!
Meditate before bed: The benefits
- Increased creativity, better management of emotions and pain, reduced stress and high blood pressure … Here are some examples of the non-exhaustive list of benefits offered by regular meditation practice.
Meditation is often characterized by a slowing down of the metabolism which is further manifested by a slowing of the heart rate and the start of the recovery process. In a state of deep meditation, theta rhythms (oscillations resulting from a cerebral activity that occur during a state of sleep onset or low vigilance) have been observed (Young et al., 1998). This means that a person who meditates prepares their body to return to the process of falling asleep. They will find sleep more easily and in a shorter time.
Meditate before bed: Getting started
Before you even get started, get comfortable! Settle down, put on some comfy pyjamas. Decide whether you want to sit or lie down. Organize your pillows, make sure the temperature of the room is ok.
The main thing to bear in mind when you start meditating is that you’re not going to get it right immediately. And that’s ok! You’ll get there, and when it comes to meditation, practise makes perfect. Just try to concentrate on your breathing and be still. Why not try breathing in for 4 and out for 4. Honestly, setting aside a few minutes for meditation is no mean feat in itself- especially in busy modern life.
If you want a little extra guidance, there are a ton of guided meditation resources out there. Mix and match until you find what works for you.
Focusing on vocal instructions will help distract your mind from thoughts and ruminations, and help you focus on your body and feelings until you start to drift off.
And then if you keep getting distracted? That’s ok too. Just keep trying, meditation gets easier the more you practise.
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