If you are having trouble sleeping, you are not the only one. According to data released by the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), roughly 40 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders every year, while almost 20 million Americans have occasional sleep problems. If you are having trouble sleeping, you may want to try some meditation techniques. The following four meditation techniques are often used to help improve sleep:
- Abdominal Breathing- Performing breathing exercises will help to relax your body, which will help to relax your mind. If you decide to do abdominal breathing before you go to bed, then you can do so while either sitting or lying down. Once you are in your preferred position, place your hands on your stomach. Breath gently in and out using your stomach instead of your chest. Focus on the movement of your stomach as you breathe. This will help clear your mind of stray thoughts, thereby relaxing it.
- Mindful Meditation – One of the reasons you might be having trouble sleeping is that your mind races as soon as you lay down. To combat this, practice mindful meditation. This involves focusing on various aspects of your life before you go to bed. Think about one issue at a time and then let it go. For some people, writing their issues and concerns down in a journal over the course of the day works best. You may want to try spending 15 minutes before bed writing down your thoughts. This type of mindful meditation helps clear your head so that you aren’t burdened by an onslaught of thoughts as you try to sleep.
- Counting Down – Breathe in and out slowly while laying in bed. Do this a few times to relax your body. Then begin counting down while staring at the ceiling. A little bit of eye strain can help to relax you. By concentrating on counting down, you prevent your mind from filling up with random thoughts that will keep you up. Some people choose to imagine themselves walking down stairs and counting each step, inhaling and exhaling for each step they take.
- Guided Imagery – Another way that you can relax your body and mind in order to prepare for sleep is to use guided imagery. The idea of guided imagery is to simply visualize something that is calming to you. For example, visualizing yourself sitting on a beach, watching the gentle movement of the water. Another example could be of laying in a field of grass, staring up at the clouds. Visualize whatever images happen to relax you. The longer you spend exploring these images in your head, the more likely you are to drift off into sleep without even realizing it.
If you are having trouble sleeping, then use these meditation techniques. Try performing these meditation techniques throughout the day as well as right before you go to sleep. Doing so will help reduce your stress and prevent your mind from racing while trying to sleep.
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