Since staying awake while we’re meditating is often a big challenge, it’s no surprise that mindfulness has been shown to promote healthy sleep. It’s not all that exciting to sit quietly and breathe. It can be downright calming. But that’s not the whole story.
Mindfulness practice encourages nonjudgmental awareness—seeing things exactly as they are, with openness and curiosity. With sleep, as with meditation practice, intentions are easier said than done.
Neither sleep routines nor mindfulness practice responds well to a heavy hand. If you set out to force yourself into sleep, you’re less likely to sleep. If you strain for some picture-perfect mindset when meditating, you’ll create more stress and uncertainty. If you set yourself up with clear-sighted planning and patient resolve—intentionally but unforced—sleep and mindfulness are both more likely to follow.
A Guided Meditation for Better Sleep
A 20-Minute Guided Meditation for Sleep
In considering any meditation related to sleep, recognize that there’s nothing to force, and nothing to make happen. Since striving makes sleep more challenging, set out to practice without specific expectations or goals. We cannot make ourselves sleep, but perhaps, by aiming to stay settled and getting less caught up in our thoughts, we fall asleep anyway.
For the meditation that follows, there will be no ending bell or instruction. At the end, continue to practice if you like, or hopefully enjoy a good night’s rest instead.
Originally published on October 4, 2018.
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This content was originally published here.