Meditation for Sleep: Relaxation Techniques for Body and Mind

By Marilyn Moon 

Looking for mediation for sleep? Try these relaxation techniques for body and mind. You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time!

restful sleep

Are you lying in bed, tossing from one side to the other, and having difficulty falling asleep at night? Wondering if there could be a way to effortlessly fall asleep and have better sleep quality?

Well, there is a simple secret to peaceful sleep. Include the practice of meditation in your life, and start to experience quality sleep!  

What causes sleep disturbances like insomnia?

It would be a good idea to look into what causes poor sleep. It could be anything from stress due to overworking, to illness, diet, poor sleep hygiene, emotional distress, or simply having a sensitivity to noise.  

Let’s explore a few of the most common causes of sleep troubles.

3 Common causes of sleep problems

#1 Sleep routine

Are you keeping a regular sleep schedule? Are you sleeping during the day? What is the duration of your sleep?

Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time in the morning helps you get in sync with your body’s natural wake/sleep cycle. Most people need to sleep around 6-8 hours per night. So, set your body’s internal clock with a regular bedtime, and try to maintain a regular wake-up time as well. Sleeping during the day can make insomnia worse, so avoid it if possible; but if you must, keep it brief!

In short, having good sleep hygiene can improve the quality of your sleep.

Did you know that just 20 minutes of meditation can give you as much deep rest as 8 hours of sleep? Try it out for yourself and feel the difference. You will feel fresh as a daisy after those 20 minutes of sitting with your eyes closed!

bedtime routine

#2 Overworking

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Is your problem physical or mental fatigue, maybe both? Are you unable to relax and unwind? Worry and anxiety often come with overworking. Learning to relax and let go of worries is the best way to get a deeper night’s sleep.

Did you know that a little time spent in meditation not only makes up for lost sleep but also increases your energy? Your "awake time" is more relaxed and focused. And your "sleep time" also improves!

#3 Late-night snacking

The digestive system has a natural rhythm that slows down in the evening. Eating late puts pressure on the digestive system and kicks the body into overdrive when it really wants to rest.

If you want to sleep better, it’s best to avoid stimulating foods and drinks. Instead, consume light and easily digestible food, especially in the evening. Milk, butter, fruits, vegetables, and grains are gentle on the system and sleep-friendly. 

Did you know that meditation is best practiced before meals? So find a bit of time to meditate before you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you can!

Improving sleep quality through sleep meditation techniques

Meditation techniques are some of the best sleep aids out there. Check out the meditation practices below to find one that works for you!

Breath awareness

A good way to begin is with simple breath awareness. Take time to gently observe the flow of your breath. While sitting or lying down, carefully observe your inhalation and exhalation. Follow your breath as it enters the body and as it leaves, gradually extending both your inhalation and exhalation in a comfortable rhythm. Notice the effect on your mind and emotions. Learn to let go and be in that calm space.

Using your breath you can relax your mind, release the buildup of tension in your system, and slow down your thought process.  This helps induce sleep naturally.

Guided sleep meditations

Meditation for sleep is easy with guided sleep meditations. One popular method used by many former insomniacs is a body scan meditation (known as yogic sleep). The basic idea is to slowly scan your body from your toes to the top of your head, while keeping your attention in the present moment.

Other types of guided meditations include retracing your day, counting backward, and relaxing visualizations. These can also be unguided and practiced on your own with little to no effort.

Would you like to meditate right now?

Click on the video below, and start meditating with this guided meditation for sleep, led by meditation master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

Yogic sleep

Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) can help bridge the gap between a wakeful mind and sleep. This  guided meditation is very popular with many former insomniacs. The basic idea is to slowly scan your body from your toes to the top of your head while breathing in a deep and relaxed manner. Your whole body experiences a profound state of calm. And your mind is in the present moment. This type of guided meditation can easily be used as a practice to fall asleep.

Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation is another effective way to induce peaceful sleep. The Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course is the best way to learn this natural, effortless type of meditation, where you are given a special, Sanskrit word (mantra) by the instructor. With regular use of this mantra-based technique, you can meditate effortlessly and improve the quality of your sleep. 

Breath-based meditation

The very best relaxation technique for improved sleep is SKY Breath Meditation. Studies show that SKY significantly enhances deep sleep. Through SKY Breath Meditation, you experience reductions in stress and anxiety, which lead to profound relaxation and better sleep. And the benefits don’t stop there. Millions of SKY practitioners across the globe enjoy improvements in many areas of their lives including an improved overall sense of well-being.

To learn more about SKY, you can attend a free breath and meditation session. You will also learn a breathing exercise and experience a relaxing guided meditation. Select your day and time by clicking the image below.

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Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks.

ART OF LIVING PART I COURSE Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being

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