A good night's rest can affect us in more ways than just dark circles under the eyes. According to the NHS, nearly 30% of people in the UK suffer from a bad night's sleep, which puts them at risk of mental health issues that manifest in daily life as a "vicious cycle" of anxiety about poor sleep and dissonant patterns of thought and behaviour. To ensure serene sleep, it's important to achieve a relaxed state of mind as this determines how our night goes and how we feel when we wake; and we can do this through meditation.
Not only do the meditative techniques of breathing and mindfulness help us doze off gently, but this mid-sleep relaxation also carries over into our spiritual wellness in our daily lives. Doing these simple calming exercises before bed does wonders for the body and mind, both awake and in sleep.
The Benefits of Meditating Before Bed
From meditation, we clarify our minds, removing the blockages, stresses or pain by learning how to deal with them. Now, imagine what being in this state before bed can do for your subconscious. By treating sleep as an opportunity for meditation, we nurture a healthy spiritual wellness in our daily lives. Our mind at rest will have renewed itself overnight, helping us then more clearly interact with ourselves and the outside world during the day.
Techniques to Give Us a Serene Sleep
As you feel yourself getting sleepier steady your breathing to slow and regular intakes and releases, whilst keeping your focus on this natural rhythm. These meditative breathing and mindfulness techniques make us aware that the stresses of the day are building up through the singular focus on the breath. By working through the day's stresses before bed, your mind won't disrupt your sleep with them; meaning you will be able to nod off to sleep much easier and in a calming manner. By the time you awake, you won't have the weight of all those troubles in your head - you will be renewed, well-slept and ready to take on the day.
Immerse Yourself in Your Meditative Slumber
It's important to make sure we have restful sleep in order for our body to be in that meditative state. Studies unanimously show that sleeping in total darkness nurtures deeper sleep, making it far easier to fall into this relaxation. This is because our pineal gland can only produce melatonin, a biochemical to regulate our sleep cycle, when it's dark. As such, it's important to help our bodies perceive darkness using eye-masks or black-out curtains. By doing so, our bodies lower blood pressure, glucose levels and body temperature, settling our physiological responses so we can sleep clearly and restfully.
Integrating meditative techniques into your nightly routine can do you wonders in terms of mental and spiritual health. As we live lives of increasing complexity and confusion, it becomes even more essential to take the time for the things that matter, like making sure we remain relaxed, well-rested, and renewed for the next day. Staying mindful and breathing easy before bed are simple things to incorporate into our routine, but you'll soon find with practice that you will be waking up with a renewed body, mind and soul.
Written for Holistic Silk by Cassie Steele