Meditation – Can It Help You Sleep?
If you’re struggling to sleep well, you’re probably up for trying anything that will get your sleep schedule back on track. If that’s the case, there’s one activity that should go straight to the top of your list: meditation.
Meditation has literally dozens of positive effects on your physical and mental health. It can reduce stress, manage chronic pain, lower blood pressure, control anxiety, increase your attention span and, crucially… improve your sleep. A Stanford study of meditation on insomniacs resulted in 60% of them no longer qualifying as insomnias by the end of the study – that’s how effective the practice can be.
What is meditation?
Meditation isn’t necessarily sitting cross-legged and murmuring ‘om’ for hours on end (although some people find that works). The truth is, meditation is different for everyone – but all types of meditation focus on achieving a state called ‘thoughtless awareness’.
How does meditation help sleep?
One of the main ways meditation helps you sleep better is by producing the brainwaves necessary for deep sleep. Meditating can help produce more alpha, theta and delta brainwaves, which cancel out beta brainwaves – the ones which are dominant while we’re awake. This helps you to get a better night’s sleep, and wake feeling rested.
Meditation can also boost melatonin levels – and melatonin is pretty great, as hormones go. It regulates your sleep. It’s a powerful antioxidant. It creates feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It activates your immune system. Is there anything this hormone can’t do? Studies have found that meditating can help your body produce more of it – especially if you meditate daily, before bedtime.
Lastly, meditation can help boost the quality of your sleep – which, we now know, is far more important than the quantity of time you spend sleeping. Six hours of great quality sleep will be more rejuvenating than eight hours of restless tossing and turning. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who meditate have enhanced REM cycles – and if you read last week’s blog, you’ll know that means better quality sleep.
Tips to get started with meditation for sleep
Sold on the idea of meditating to help you sleep? Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Set aside time to meditate each day. Studies have shown it can be most effective before bed, but any time of day will do.
- Start small. Meditate for just two or five minutes, and keep building on it, until you feel comfortable meditating for up to thirty minutes at a time.
- Don’t worry so much about getting it ‘right’. There’s no right way to meditate – find what works for you.
- Try out different techniques. There are plenty of guided meditation apps and videos online that can help you learn the practice – then feel free to modify it to your preferences. Add some movement, introduce relaxing sounds – find what works for you.
At Third, we understand the importance of sleep quality. Keep following the blog for more tips on improving your sleep, or shop our range of super soft sheets today, for your best night’s sleep ever.