Spend 10-15 Minutes in Meditation
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to improve sleep. Research has demonstrated that meditation practices support the body’s circadian rhythm to induce sleep. It’s important to take time daily to clear our mind of all the chatter and clutter from the day’s activities. We need to go to the bathroom every day to clear our bodies of waste. Likewise, it’s equally necessary to take time to clear our minds – and right before bed is the perfect time to do it. Turn your phone off completely while you’re meditating so that you’re not disturbed.
Research on Meditation and Sleep
In 2014, Harvard University conducted a scientific study in which 98 people older than 49 were divided into two groups, a control group and test group. They all suffered from high blood pressure, pain, depression, or insomnia. The control group was told to try relaxing after work and then go to sleep. The test group was provided with a simple sleep routine which included a guided mindfulness meditation practice six times a week for two-hour sessions. Those in the test group showed a substantially longer sleep time than the control group, along with a decline in sleep problems.
Additional Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of starting a meditation practice go even beyond helping with sleep. Studies suggest that mindfulness practices may help people manage stress, cope better with serious illness, and reduce anxiety and depression. Many people who practice mindfulness report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life, and improved self-esteem. A study
by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found measurable improvements in the condition of the brain areas related to memory, learning, and emotion. The NIH also found that meditation reduced hostility and improved relationships. Still another study found that meditation made people more aware of mindless habits like snacking and decreased the tendency to give into such habits without thinking. As a result, people who meditated were better able to control their weight because they ate more consciously, enjoying it more and eating only when hungry. In the end, many of these additional benefits of meditation contribute to better sleep.