Sleep Meditation for a Better Night's Rest
Sleep is one of the most important factors in overall well-being and quality of mental and physical health. But, sleep is often easily affected by stress, lessening the amount of sleep you get and possibly leading to further stress. An effective remedy for this cycle is sleep meditation.
What exactly is sleep meditation? This form of meditative practice can be used just before sleep or even as the person is falling asleep. These meditative practices help the mind be more at rest prior to sleep. The average person absorbs a lot of information and stimulation throughout the day, so it is important to give the mind time to transition to some stillness before resting at night. There are several different benefits of sleep meditation if used regularly.
Article at a Glance
- Sleep meditation is a meditative practice that can be used prior to sleep or even as the person falls asleep.
- Meditation helps to establish mind and body harmony.
- Improving sleep practices before bed is important because poor sleep hygiene can increase the risk of disease and mental health issues.
- Guided meditations can be a great place to start. The Nobu app has excellent resources for beginner meditators.
Nobu Meditation to Aid with Sleep
Meditation for Sleep
Research has shown a variety of benefits of meditation for sleep. One study found that mindfulness meditation significantly improved total wake time and sleep quality in a group of 330 participants that met the criteria for insomnia.. Beyond improving sleep quality, meditation can also help us be more alert the next day and establish mind and body harmony. The basic premise is that the mind is often an active place, especially during the day, and sleep meditation helps the mind become calm before attempting rest.
What To Expect With Sleep Meditation
As with doing most things for the first time, it is helpful to have guidance at the beginning. Guided meditations can be an excellent place to start, and the Nobu app has helpful resources for beginner meditators.
Preparing for meditation and rest can be just as important as the meditative practice itself. This might look different for everyone, but preparing your space for rest could mean dimming the lights, lighting some incense or using a calming essential oil and putting on comfortable clothing to help you relax.
Many different practices can be used to prepare the body for rest, and as always, finding the ones that work best for you might require some experimentation.
- Breathing exercises and practices: examples are available on the Nobu app.
- Movement-based meditation may include yoga, restorative yoga, dancing or listening to music.
- Mindful body scanning, also called progressive muscle relaxation, usually involves lying down and listening to a guided practice that will instruct you to focus on the different parts of your body.
- Visualizations, guided or unguided, involve closing the eyes and picturing a favorite location or a pleasant memory, or maybe envisioning a joyful future plan.
- Retracing your day may be relaxing, depending on how your day went, especially if you practice releasing things that caused stress, particularly ones that you had no control over.
- Sitting in silence and stillness can be meditative, but may not be as easy for beginners.
How Important Is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is the steps we take during the day and within our sleep environment that promote the best possible sleep outcomes. To improve your sleep hygiene habits, watch our video. Tips for optimal sleep hygiene include:
- Getting 7–9 hours of quality sleep per night
- A consistent and early bedtime and sticking to it, even on weekends
- An exercise routine, but not too late in the day
- Monitoring alcohol, nicotine and caffeine use
- Monitoring screen use before bed — maybe switching out screens for a book
- Creating a restful sleep environment: dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature in the room
- Consider utilizing mindfulness meditation or doing some gentle yoga if you are struggling to calm your mind prior to bed
- Spending some time in nature
Improving sleep hygiene is important because poor sleep hygiene can lead to increased risk of chronic disease and mental health issues.
Beginning Meditation with Nobu
Meditation is clearly a powerful force for good sleep. That said, beginning a meditation practice can feel intimidating and new. The Nobu app has some excellent resources and guided meditations that can help make starting the process easier. Download it today in the App store or Google Play store.
Edited by – Abby Doty
Abby Doty graduated from Hamline University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s in English and Psychology. She has written and edited creative and literary work as well as academic pieces focused primarily on psychology and mental health. Read more.
Written by – Amalia Sirica, LCSW
Amalia Sirica is New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a writer. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University and her master’s degree in Social Work from New York University… Read more.
Medically Reviewed by – Dr. Angela Phillips
Angela is a licensed therapist and clinical researcher, and has worked in public, private, government, and not-for-profit organizations, across clinical and research-oriented roles. Angela’s clinical and research experience has included suicide prevention, cognitive behavioral… Read more.
- American Psychological Association. “Stress and Sleep.” 2013. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- Black, David S., O’Reilly, Gillian A., Olmstead, Richard, Breen, Elizabeth, and Irwin, Michael. “Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial.” JAMA Internal Medicine, April 23, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- Gong, Hong, Ni, Chen-Xu, Liu, Yun-Zi, Zhang Yi, Su, Wen-Ju, Lian, Yong-Jie, Peng, Wei, and Jiang, Chun-Lei. “Mindfulness meditation for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, October 2016. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- Corliss, Julie. “Mindfulness Meditation Helps Fight Insomnia, Improves Sleep.” Harvard Medical School, June 15, 2020. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- Nagendra, Ravindra, P., Maruthai, Nirmala, and Kutty, Bindu M. “Meditation and its regulatory role on sleep.” Frontiers in Neurology, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- National Health Service. “How to Get Sleep.” July 22, 2019. Accessed November 26, 2021.
- National Health Service. “Why Lack of Sleep is Bad for Your Health.” August 5, 2021. Accessed November 26, 2021.