Could Meditation Help You to Sleep Better?

Getting a good night of sleep, seven days of the week is so crucial. It is recommended that adults get at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep per night in order to function at their best throughout the day. As well as having less energy and reduced powers of concentration on a day to day basis, not getting enough sleep can also have more long-term effects on your health. A lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of obesity, increased risk of heart disease, and even a greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. 

But in the 21st century, when you have to juggle demanding work responsibilities with a family and social life, finding the time to sleep, or having the ability to switch off for good quality sleep is definitely easier said than done. But meditation could be the simple fix that you are looking for.  

Why might meditation help your sleep?

Meditation is essentially the wellness practice of training your mind to focus on one thing and one thing only for a period of time, and that thing is usually the breath because the breath is always present and centred within the body.

Some people have trouble sleeping because they are doing things all day, and then when they lay down to rest, their mind is suddenly occupied with ideas that bounce around from this overload of daily information. Of course, having creative ideas is no bad thing, but the last thing at night when you want to unwind and sleep is not the appropriate time for this. When you meditate, you train the mind to accept your meandering thoughts, but ultimately let them go and return your focus to the breath. This means that people who suffer from active night brains can more easily let those thoughts and ideas go if they have a meditation practice, enabling them to sleep much better.

For others, it's not just an overactive mind that inhibits sleep, but a deep-seated anxiety that rears its head at night. In recent years, lots of scientific research has been done to test whether mindfulness affects the body and mind in any real way, and it's been shown that a meditation practice actually eases anxiety on a neural level. Regular meditation helps to diminish self-referential thoughts, which reduces anxiety, and helps you to get to bed at a decent time, sleep through the night, and wake up feeling ready to be your best each day.