A lot of people may have fallen victim to crawling under the covers, worrying about various things instead of sleeping. It could be the long tiresome day, nagging pending bills or a demanding long to-do list. Whatever the case is, most of these issues have brought about sleep disturbances, primarily insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep condition that can rob you of quality good night rest. It can leave you worrying about multiple uncontrollable factors, which in the end, only aggravate you more. Insomnia can also reduce productivity the next day since a greater percentage of your time was spent worrying instead of relaxing.
Luckily, a study has identified a correlation between meditation and reduced insomnia. It acknowledges that reflection before slumber can improve sleep quantity and quality. Therefore, an individual yearning for a good night’s rest can adopt meditation for insomnia for a good slumber at night (2).
Individuals can experience numerous sleep disturbances like insomnia. Individuals with it tend to struggle with falling asleep easily, resting throughout the night, or both. Consequently, they may sleep very late at night or wake up numerous times.
Such patterns automatically disturb their sleep quality. Therefore, they may wake up cranky and knackered because they had poor quality sleep.
Most people tend to broadly categorize this sleep disorder. However, it can be classified into various types, depending on the intensity (1). The various types of insomnia include:
1. Acute Insomnia
Acute means short term. It, therefore, means that acute insomnia occurs for a short duration, probably days or weeks. It is quite common in today’s society because its risk factors include work stress, family pressures, and distressing events.
2. Chronic Insomnia
This type of sleep disorder is also known as ongoing insomnia. It may last for a month or more. It can also result from other sleep disorders. Chronic insomnia may also arise from other factors. These entail usage of certain medical drugs and products and regular consumption of caffeine beverages.
3. Primary Insomnia
The third type is known as primary insomnia. It can last for more than four weeks. Individuals with insomnia must go for a checkup to determine what type of insomnia they are experiencing.
The checkup will help identify the type and the best interventions to implement to fight the poor sleeping patterns.
Causes Of Insomnia
Insomnia is a disorder arising from several factors. These include:
- Increased stress, depression or anxiety
- Bad dreams or nightmares that keep you awake for long
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable position, bed or room
- Increased changes in your routine such as changes in your work shifts
- Increased use of recreational drugs such as cocaine
- Disorders such as bipolar disease and/or schizophrenia
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How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Individuals with insomnia are likely to be worried about how much sleep is essential. This is because they might be getting less rest than is prescribed. Before naming how long one should sleep, it’s crucial to point out that any individual is susceptible to insomnia. However, susceptibility increases with age. It may also increase with an increase in stress levels.
Adults are advised to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep. However, children and teenagers are required to get more than eight hours of sleep. Older adults struggle with insomnia which makes them get less quality sleep at night.
For most people, meditation is not a new term. It is a familiar term as it is widely used in today’s society, whether in real life, movies, or physical activity. You might have also heard the term here and there as you progress with your daily routine.
Whenever this term is used, people tend to relate it with emotional wellbeing. Therefore, you will find a person acknowledging that it is beneficial for the mind and overall mental being. However, this might not sit clear with an individual who does not understand what it entails. Likewise, it can be confusing for such a person to comprehend its influence in insomnia treatment (3).
Meditation is a class of mind-body medicine, where an individual applies various techniques to attain a stable emotional state. It entails minimizing one’s cluttered thoughts and concentrating one’s attention to a single aspect that will help them relax.
Meditation: Does It Work?
Of course, there are doubting Thomas’s who speculate the efficiency of meditation. It is nothing wrong or surprising, as most techniques are prone to skepticism, especially in today’s society. The answer is yes, meditation works perfectly.
It has been linked with numerous benefits, making it a critical technique in this era. These include:
1. Increased Inner Peace
As individuals get to unwind and focus on their well being instead of their issues, they tend to be more relaxed and at peace. However, this is not to mean that they are running away from their problems. It only means they are prioritizing their peace over their problems.
2. Increased Relaxation
The second benefit of practising meditation is improved relaxation. In a day, an individual is prone to think about numerous things. Some of these tend to be distressing, overwhelming and stressful. Meditation curbs these thoughts and concentrates on one good and calming thing.
3. Better Slumber
Reflecting on appeasing and calming aspects before sleeping also improves slumber. Hence, it can help treat insomnia, allowing you to quickly doze off and get the rest you deserve.
How Does Meditation Help Treat Insomnia?
Although a certain percentage of society perceive meditation for insomnia as a thing, they, however, do not comprehend this concept. Meditation for insomnia can help in eliminating this sleep disorder by improving both sleep quality and quantity.
However, it has to be done systematically and adhering to various rules. They are not rules per se, but tips. Following them to the later will help you doze off quickly and into a deep rest (3).
Meditation for insomnia works in the following ways:
- Meditation also calls upon for focus on how one is breathing. While meditating, you ought to breathe slowly, by inhaling and exhaling deeply. The focus on your breathing makes you avoid the distractions and thoughts in your brain. Consequently, you become more relaxed and your body relaxation makes you fall asleep faster.
- Meditation requires an individual to lie down and do away with their vast thinking. The approach helps you unwind. When you are not thinking about mind-boggling things, you tend to attain high levels of tranquility that make you doze.
Meditation Techniques For Insomnia
You can execute several techniques for meditation for insomnia and anxiety. They all differ in one way or another but result in the same results. However, before settling on a technique, it is crucial to sit down with your doctor.
They assist you in determining the type of your insomnia, thereby recommending the best meditation technique. Thus, do not uphold a method merely because it ranks as the outstanding reflective practice for insomnia. First, deliberate with your physician and understand what works for you.
If you want to learn how to meditate in bed and how to fight insomnia, then this is for you. Here are the most common approaches to learn to know how to cure insomnia in 12 minutes:
Mindfulness Meditation For Insomnia
This style is famous among most insomniacs. It benefits insomniacs by improving their sleep quality, anxiety, and depression too. As the name suggests, the intervention draws most attention to mindfulness.
The concept of this approach hails from ancient Buddhist meditation. Nonetheless, considering it has been adopted by multiple people, it has over time transitioned. Therefore, the majority execute the civil version of this art.
How To Do Mindfulness Meditation?
If you want to try this technique yourself, then this is what you must do:
- Lie down comfortably in your bed. You can also choose to sit down on your bed. Ensure that you minimize distractions. For example, switch off or mute notifications as you meditate.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Pay attention to how you inhale and exhale.
- Focus on your forehead, and all the other parts of your body until you reach your toes. At the same time, clear your mind of any thoughts clogging it.
- Concentrate on all these feelings. You will realize an appeasing emotion that quickly induces your sleep.
Breath Awareness Technique
One of the ways we mentioned meditation works in treating insomnia is by helping you focus on your breathing. So, one of the best practices you can uphold if you are insomniac is the breath awareness technique. As the name implies, this practice will focus more on your respiration.
Focusing on your mindful breathing takes away the pressure from concentrating on your stressful thoughts. The low-stress levels reduce your anxiety, consequently calming your down. Eventually, you begin to slowly doze off into slumber land.
How To Practice Breath Awareness Technique?
Here are the steps:
- Determine a suitable position to try this technique. Since you are doing it to induce sleep, the best position can be in your bed. Ensure you clear your room from any distractions such as loud music or light penetrating through your curtains.
- Focus on your breathing instead of thinking about your long or busy day. Allow your breathing to dominate. Focus on that rhythm.
- You will slowly relax, and this relaxation will gradually bring you to slumber (1).
Guided Sleep Meditation For Insomnia
Another effective reflection way to execute for insomnia treatment is guided meditation. Some people may refer to it as guided visualization or imagery (3). As the name suggests, the technique works by using distinct imagery to guide an individual to sleep.
Therefore, it means that this technique requires a person to meditate by forming various mental images. The images could be of various destinations or events. However, they all have to be pleasing as the aim is increasing your calmness for sleep induction. Focus on the treasure trove.
How To Practice Guided Meditation?
The only guide you need for this method is from your favorite and most relaxing imagery. Hence, to do this meditation for insomnia, do the following:
- Keep your electronic devices away and then lie down in bed. Ensure you are comfortable, such that your hair or covers do not bother you.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Ensure you inhale and exhale deeply.
- Think of one image and how it tasted, smelt, felt like, or appeared. The in-depth analysis will not deter you from relaxation.
- The fantasy will draw you in, and eventually, you will fall asleep.
The Relaxation Response
The other meditative technique to implement is known as the relaxation response. It is unique compared to other meditation techniques. It aims at eliciting the opposite reaction from the flight or fight response.
Therefore, it trains an individual’s body to relax instead of fighting various emotions. By doing so, the technique decreases one’s breathing rate, pulse, metabolism, and blood pressure. With time, an individual will relax and doze off.
Besides boosting your slumber quality, the method also improves digestion and mood. It has also been discovered to reduce stress levels.
With stress being a constant presence in our lives, taking time to process emotions, decompress and get into the right frame of mind is absolutely crucial. With BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app your mental health is in good hands! Start using it now!
Which Meditation Is Best For Insomnia?
This question is quite tricky. Nonetheless, if you evaluate it from a surface level, it appears easy. In real sense, it is not. To determine the most effective approach, visit an accredited meditation instructor. They will recommend the best practice for your disorder treatment.
Never implement a practice because it works for your friends. You all have different needs and body reactions and they cannot all work for you. Similarly, they will help you work on your concentration and respiration system. This will come in handy in whatever method you pick.
Sleep Meditation Apps-Can They Help with Insomnia?
Technology advancement has led to various innovations. Of all these, one crucial innovation is the sleep meditation app. It is meant to aid individuals who have a rough time falling asleep. These apps can, therefore, help an insomniac.
There are several types of sleep meditation apps. All entail different techniques. For example, they could include talks or guided meditations from accredited instructors or mindfulness gurus.
Before you choose one, do your research. Again, clarify with your healthcare provider. Sometimes, they may recommend a better alternative for you based on your condition.
Again, pick an app if you believe it can help you meet your goals. Ensure that your goals align with the objectives of the sleep meditation app you choose.
Tips To Improve Your Meditation
To further ensure that your reflection process is on point, do the following:
- Be consistent. Reflecting once will not automatically make your sleeping disorder disappear.
- Create a friendly bedroom environment. This means having a quiet bedroom that further advocates for slumber. Also, you can switch off the lights and use dark curtains or blackout blinds to darken the room and reduce distractions.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption before bed is not classified in the category of good sleep hygiene.
- Start small. The goal of meditation for insomnia treatment is not measuring your reflection time. The idea is to boost the effectiveness of your contemplation, whether you reflect for ten or thirty minutes. If you are just starting this practice, start at five or ten minutes. Along the way and after you have mastered this art, not take baby steps to the thirty-minute mark.
The Bottom Line
Insomnia treatment does not necessarily have to involve medications. An individual can always deep among themselves and reflect for better slumber. The in-depth reflection yields decisive thoughts that suppress the distressing ones.
No matter how late you sleep or how many times you wake up throughout the night, meditation can help with your insomnia. Unlike the medications, this approach is easy to acquire. Additionally, it is advantageous as it results in other health benefits.
Meditative techniques such as mindfulness, guided meditation, relaxation response, and the breath awareness method can help you fight your sleeplessness. They are very effective in quickly inducing sleep.
If your mind is in constant overdrive and you’re tired of the negative scenarios that keep running through your head, this video will help you relax and unearth your inner zen.
All the views in this article are not a representation of a doctor’s advice. Hence, always consult with your doctor for more details.
- Introducing insomnia meditation therapy: A novel behavioural intervention for insomnia (2013, researchgate.net)
- Mindfulness meditation for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia (2015, researchgate.net)