It’s finally the end of the day. You come home and shower, have a light meal and catch up with your partner. You go to bed looking forward to a good night’s sleep, but surprisingly you spend your time in bed with your eyes wide open. A buzz of thoughts, to-do lists and future tasks run through your mind, and you wonder – where is the mute button when you need it most? Morning comes, and you start your day tired, unrefreshed and hopeless.
While there are several ways to help you sleep better, one seems to be very useful to many: meditation.
Meditation for more restful nights
Meditation is a natural solution to help you fall asleep faster, or maintain continuous sleep. At its core is a brain workout focused on breathing and developing ‘here and now awareness’. The Harvard School of Medicine tested the efficacy of meditation for individuals suffering from Insomnia: in a study conducted in 2015, 49 adults who regularly experienced insomnia were divided into two groups - the first joined the Mindfulness Sleep Improvement Program, which included sleep meditation; and the second group tried out different tools designed to improve sleep quality. Six weeks later, a significant improvement was seen in the rate of insomnia in the meditation group, compared with the other group. Dr. Herbert Benson, director of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, claims that “Mindfulness meditation is just one of a smorgasbord of techniques that evoke the relaxation response”. In contrast to stress response, the relaxation response is a psychological shift in the body that can ease stress-related conditions such as chronic pain, depression and more.
How does meditation help us sleep?
Asking yourself how to sleep better? You should know that the mind plays a crucial role in how we sleep. Worries and negative thoughts can easily make it harder, impossible even, to fall asleep and remain asleep throughout the night. The effects of relaxation are felt both physically and psychologically: meditation allows us to experience mental calm and to cleanse our minds. The method focuses on breathing and what happens in the present, helping to relieve tensions and concerns, and thereby contributing to a continuous, deep sleep.
Meditation also affects the body’s physical systems: the hormone melatonin, which is known as the ‘hormone of sleep’, regulates our waking and sleeping hours: it was first explored in a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, which found that meditation helps secreting melatonin around sleep and thus contributes to deep, continuous sleep.
If you haven’t done meditation before, you’ll be pleased to find out that no previous experience is required. All you need is willingness and a determination to persevere with the process. You do not even have to leave the house or sign up for meditation classes! As the mind is one of the four core sleep training domains we’ve established at dayzz, we invite you to enjoy customized, guided meditation exercises to help you reach a state of mind that will encourage better sleep. Ready to begin your journey towards quality sleep? Start with answering a few short questions to get a quick, personal sleep assessment.