Here's Why You Should Add Sleep Meditation To Your Nighttime Routine

Ever feel like you're chugging coffee to stay awake at work, but when night comes, you can't turn your thoughts off to go to sleep? These days there is more than enough to have us drained during the day and restless at night. Not to mention the endless memes that seem to dance around our brains when it's time to wind down. Let's face it: we live in a world of overstimulation and information overload, and getting a good night's sleep is more complex than it used to be.

Your relationship with sleep is incredibly important to every facet of your life. According to Erica Jansen, a research assistant at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, sleep affects "our ability to fight disease and develop immunity, and our metabolism and chronic disease risk." Suppose you find yourself looking for better sleep habits. In that case, you may want to consider sleep meditation, a technique to help the body release worrying thoughts and anxiety to relax the body.

Mindfulness quiets external chaos

Practicing mindfulness is gaining traction in the western world as more and more people are coming to understand the need to rebalance their busy and sometimes chaotic lives. In a capitalistic world where all systems go at all times and productivity is paramount, we seem to have forgotten the power of slow living, gratitude, and relaxation. Sleep meditation offers solace to a busy mind by asking individuals to quiet their thoughts and center themselves by silencing the external.

The Sleep Foundation states that it can be as simple as practicing breathwork, like using the box breath method, which includes breathing in for a count of four and breathing out for a count of four. The idea is to focus the mind with calming techniques that release us from a busy checklist mindset. According to the best-selling meditation app Headspace, meditation for sleep "allows us to let go of the day" and "be less in our head and more aware of the present moment." This app has guided meditations that integrate with your Apple Watch to help track your meditation practice over time. Other popular apps like Calm and Slumber also offer guided meditations that include different types of breathwork and body scans to drift the body into a deep sleep.

It's a form of self-care that heals the body

It can be easy to feel your entire day is dedicated to others. Your work is for your boss, you're cooking for your kids, or maybe you feel you barely have any time to yourself anymore. Sleep meditation offers special moments of silence for yourself, even if it's just for a few minutes. Why spend those moments before bed in anticipation and anxiety for tomorrow when you could dedicate them to yourself? Now that you've quieted the external, sleep meditation offers a time to go within for precious self-care. According to the Chicago Tribune, good sleep can actually heal the body because your body needs rest to increase its immune system and make more white blood cells that attack viruses. Those nighttime hours are crucial to your overall health so make sure you are dedicating the time you need to rest and heal from a busy day.

While using your breath to recenter your thoughts and calm the body, practice inhaling white light and exhaling dark matter representing your fears, anxieties, and lower vibrational thoughts. Imagine the white light going down from your head to your toes in a gentle body scan. As you continue going down your body, find time to be grateful for this moment of relaxation. Think about how hard you've worked and how deserving you are of rest. The more you practice this simple self-care, the more you'll realize how life-changing it can be. All it takes is one shift to create an entirely new lifestyle. Happy sleeping.