Sleep is supposed to be the natural thing in the world. Yet, why is that so many of us can’t seem to get the rest we so desperately need? If you’ve been struggling with sleep problems or insomnia, why not something new? A guided sleep meditation is an easy tool that can help you get to sleep and stay asleep all night long.
What is Guided Sleep Meditation?
Essentially a guided sleep meditation, takes you through a step by step process that helps you relax your mind and body for a restful night’s sleep. The meditation is usually narrated by a female or male voice, in soft soothing tones, or in a whisper like ASMR.
The guided meditation, will usually be combined with other techniques designed to help ease sleep problems and insomnia. Such as, visualization, breathing, yoga nidra, a sleep talk down, hypnosis or progressive muscle relaxation.
It may have a background that is totally silent, or one with relaxing sounds. Such as, meditation music and binaural beats, or calming nature sounds like falling rain, or ocean waves.
The Benefits Of Guided Sleep Meditation
Using a guided meditation to get to sleep at night, has become increasingly popular these days. And there’s a good reason for that.
Meditation is safe and completely natural, and there are multiple benefits that help improve sleep. Not only does meditating before bed help you get a better nights sleep, it also helps to fight insomnia (1). By calming stress and anxiety, that can keep you up tossing and turning all night.
1. Guided Sleep Meditation Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Modern life has brought us many wonderful things, but some of those things have come at a price. With many people finding that its never ending battle to keep stress at bay. As well as, almost impossible, to have a work and personal life balance that’s happy and fulfilling .
Which in the end leaves them feeling stressed, anxious and exhausted. With the days worries and anxieties that carrying over into the night. So instead of sleeping soundly, you find yourself up all night, with sleep problems, anxiety or insomnia.
Enter meditation. When you meditate before bed, it helps to calm your thoughts and ease stress. It helps make you present instead of worrying about not getting to sleep tonight or tomorrow’s to do list.
You become more in the moment. Then, once your thoughts quiet and your mind clears, all the feelings associated with them, then disappear too.
So you can drift off to sleep, without any sleep problems, worries or fears keeping you up.
2. Guided Meditation For Sleep Is Safe and Natural
Meditation boosts melatonin, which is also known as the sleep hormone. Which helps to regulate your sleep and wake cycles. Healthy levels of melatonin regulate your circadian rhythm which is essential to overcoming sleep problems. While also, instilling feelings of well-being and happiness and a healthy immune system. (2)
Meditation has other benefits too, such as reduced blood pressure. And also helps to ease physical pain and combat depression. While increasing your overall sense of peace and happiness.
3. It’s Easy + Accessible
A guided meditation is easy to do before getting into bed or while you are laying in bed. So convenient, that pretty much anyone can incorporate a guided sleep meditation into their night time routine.
4. Calms An Overactive Mind
Are you up all night tossing and turning, thinking about everything on your to do list? If your mind goes into overdrive every time you even think about going to sleep. Then listening to a guided meditation, before you go to sleep just might be the perfect distraction.
Putting the meditation on and simply following along can be a life saver for a brain that just won’t shut off. Because it gives your mind something to focus on. Once your mind relaxes your body can too.
5. A Guided Meditation Will Deeply Relax Your Mind & Body
Many people end up stuck in negative sleep patterns, that stem from worrying about not getting enough sleep. Which in turn, causes more stress, worry and anxiety. Eventually making it even harder to correct sleep issues.
Doing a nighttime meditation can help by improving the body’s relaxation response. As it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Which in a nutshell, helps to calm stress hormones from entering into the bloodstream. Hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Meditation also encourages slower breathing, helping to calm your heart rate (3) preparing you for deep and rejuvenating sleep. Essentially a night time meditation practice, optimizes your body’s ability to stay asleep as it moves through your natural sleep cycles. (4)
Can You Meditate To Sleep?
Meditation isn’t so much about forcing yourself to sleep. It’s a tool to relax your mind and body so that you actually can get to sleep. Basically, the more you try to force yourself to sleep the more anxiety you create. And in the end the less likely you are to relax peacefully drift off.
If your mind won’t stop racing and you feel yourself wondering if you’re ever going to get some shut eye. This is where a guided meditation can be a miracle worker.
As you begin to listen, worrisome thoughts begin to diminish. And are replaced with soothing sounds and calming visualizations. Eventually allowing you to completely relax and let go of anything keeping you up.
Once you begin regularly meditating before bed, you’ll find it easier to feel relaxed. Which helps you set a healthy and regular sleep pattern.
Essentially, by meditating before bed, you’ll have created a new habit. That has taught your mind and body that its time to relax and the next step is deep sleep.
How Should You Meditate Before Bed?
If you have sleep problems or insomnia there are a couple of ways you can meditate before bed. You can do a traditional silent meditation, or if you’re like many people with an overactive mind, sleep problems or insomnia, you can choose a guided meditation. Which also contains techniques to relax the body and mind in as many ways as possible.
Such as, listening to a soothing voice, that is accompanied by progressive muscle relaxation techniques, mindfulness, visualization, hypnosis or binaural beats.
How To Get Started With a Guided Sleep Meditation
Here is a quick night time meditation routine, that’s also perfect for beginners.
1. First, before you start your meditation, choose which type of meditation you want. If you need ideas, check out our article with the 30 best free guided meditations on YouTube here.
2. Next, find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. For the most relaxing space, most people find that their bedroom is the perfect place.
3. Then, decide on a comfortable position to sit or lay down. You can lay in your bed, or sit up and place a pillow behind your back to support you. Get cozy, and make sure you are warm. For anxiety, its nice to lay down with a weighted blanket or an eye pillow.
4. If you’re listening to a track that contains binaural beats or prefer listening to your meditation while wearing headphones, put them on. For sleep, these headphones are highly recommended. You can find them on Amazon here.
5. Finally, when you’re ready to begin take a deep relaxing breath. Then hit play, and allow yourself to let go and softly ease into your meditation session.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep plays a vital role in helping you to be healthy and happy, both physically and mentally. In addition to meditating at night, its important to make sure that you are practicing good sleep hygiene habits before bed. Below you’ll find our 10 best tips for you.
10 Habits For Better Sleep
Similar to making a guided sleep meditation a habit, creating a night time routine can help trigger your brain to relax before bed.
1. Limit electronics like cell phones, computers and tablets that emit blue-light about an hour before bed.
2. Set a sleep schedule and stick with it. Going to bed at the same time every night helps set your your body clock and natural cicadian rhythms.
3. Create a bedroom that is a cool and dark environment. If your bedroom is bright, use a sleep mask or black out curtains.
4. Spend some time outside for at least 30 minutes every morning. Studies show that getting outside in the morning, helps to regulate hormones and set your internal clocks, reduce stress (4)and increase sleep quality.
5. Try meditating for a few minutes in the morning. Meditating in the morning has a tonne of health benefits that help you to sleep better at night.
If meditating twice a day sounds like too much work. Start a simple 5 minute meditation before you get out of bed. This will help you start your day off right. Read about the benefits of a morning meditation habit here.
6. Replace your nightly glass of wine with a relaxing Herbal Tea containing Passion Flower, Chamomile or Valerian. All of which have been shown to help (5) soothe restless sleepers. We love this one from Hey Girl Tea which also contains calming Lemon Balm.
7. Have a relaxing hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils such as Lavender, Rose or Cedarwood. Epsom salts are a rich source of magnesium which helps to relax tense muscles and also help to detoxify the body.
8. Journal a few minutes before bed. If you find yourself tossing and turning stressed out by everything you have to do the next day, then you need to get it out of your head and onto a page. Once its out, your brain can relax and prepare for rest.
9. Dab an essential oil good for sleep on your pulse points before bed. Personally, I use lavender essential oil on my temples and the inside of my wrists every night. We have a list of the best essential oils for sleep, you can read it here.
10. Sleep with a fan or a white noise machine. I personally sleep with a fan, which is great for white noise as well as keeping the room cool. However many people I know swear by a white noise sleep machine like this one here on Amazon.
At the end of the day…
If you’ve been suffering with sleep problems or insomnia a guided sleep meditation can be helpful. A few moments spent in peace at the end of the day can make a huge impact on your sleep quality that night. And in turn you over all level of happiness and wellbeing for the next day to come.
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