meditation

Did You Know Meditation can Help with Insomnia?

Many people have problems falling asleep. Did you know studies show 35 to 50 percent of adults experience insomnia? That is because stress can cause anxiety and tension, especially for us moms who worry about the next day.
Crazy hey! So you’re not alone in this battle. Stress plays a huge role in insomnia and especially for us moms who are constantly worried about our children’s well-being or if we have a difficult child making mornings unbearable with the arguing and being defiant.
The moms I work with ask me how meditation can possibly help them sleep when they are under so much stress. Meditations helps in many ways. According to case studies and research, meditation can help in several ways. Meditation improves your relaxation response and improves your autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for receiving information about the body and the external environment. It supplies the internal organs such as the blood vessels, stomach, heart, digestive glands and much more.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine analyzed how mindfulness meditation affected 49 adults with moderate sleep issues. The adults who partook in the study where randomly assigned 6 weeks of mediation or sleep hygiene education. By the
end of the 6-week study, the meditation group experienced less day
time fatigue and hardly any insomnia.
The benefits of meditation can increase your sleep hormone,
melatonin, and serotonin, reduce heart rate, decrease blood
pressure and activate parts of the brain that controls sleep.

Benefits of Meditation

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Meditation can improve your sleep when done on a regular basis. It also has many other benefits such as, improve your mood, relieve stress, reduce anxiety, increase focus, improve cognition, improve your pain response, help with high blood pressure, and improve heart health.

Stress and an over active mind can impede your quality of sleep. Research has shown meditation can calm the mind to help promote a better quality of sleep.

Even though mediation can improve your quality of sleep, it doesn’t replace good sleep hygiene. It is important to remember to follow a regular sleep schedule, turn off all electronics, and sleep in a cool dark quiet room. It is also important to be mindful of nutrition and avoid heavy meals and drinking caffeine before bed.

 

3 WAYS YOU CAN MEDITATE TO IMPROVE SLEEP

MINDFULNESS

This involves focusing on the present by your awareness of your consciousness, breathing, and being attuned to your body.

While practicing mindfulness, if you notice a thought or emotion entering your mind, observe it and then let it pass without judging yourself.

5 Steps How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation

  1. Find a quiet place and remove all distractions, including your phone. Lie down on your back in a comfortable position.

  2. Relax your body and focus on your breathing. Inhale for 10 counts, hold your breath
    for 10 counts then exhale for 10, slowly and controlled. Repeat 5 times.

  3. Next, inhale while you tense your body, hold your breath for 5 counts, exhale
    slowly and relax your body. Repeat 5 times.

  4. Focus your mind on your body as you inhale and exhale slowly. If you feel tense,
    refocus and feel your breath as it enters and leaves your body.

  5. When a thought enters your mind, refocus to your breathing, and feel your body relax.

GUIDE MEDITATION OR GUIDED IMAGERY

This technique is when you are guided through the meditation process by a person who leads you through each step in a calm manner. They will guide you through how to relax your body either by breathing or guide you to relax your body in a certain way. They may also guide you through sound and/or imagery.

You can download a guided meditation recording and listen to it as you are taken through the relaxation process before bedtime.

You can find these meditation recordings through podcasts, meditation apps, or online streaming like Spotify.

3 Steps to Guided Meditation

  1. Once you find a recording you like, dim the light on your phone or device you are using to listen to the guided meditation.

  2. Start the recording. Lie down on your bed and breathe deeply and slowly removing all thoughts from your mind.

  3. Focus on the person’s voice. If your mind wonders, refocus your attention on the persons voice on the recording.

BODY SCAN MEDITATION

The goal in body scan meditation is to increase awareness of your physical sensations such as tension and pain. This focuses on each part of your body to promote relaxation which can help with sleep.

6 Steps How to Body Scan Mediation

  1. Find a quiet location and lie down in a comfortable position. Remove all distractions including your phone.

  2. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Notice the breath entering and leaving your body. Feel the weight of your body.

  3. Start at the top of your body and focus on your face. Soften your jaw, eyes, and facial muscles.

  4. Mindfully move to your neck and shoulders. Relax them and have them melt into your bed.

  5. Continue moving your mind down your body to your arms and fingers. Continue to your stomach, back, hips, legs, and feet. Focus how each part feels as you move down your body.

  6. It your mind wonders, slowly shift your mind back to your body and feel it in its relaxed state. Move slowly in the opposite direct from your toes back up to your head. Take 10 deep breaths and slowly open your eyes. If you like, you can repeat the process.

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