Insomnia can be excruciating when you desperately need sleep. Here are tips for mindfulness meditation to get you on your way to dreamland.
Before crawling into bed, there are a few things you can add to — or remove from — your evening to get your mind and body into a good place to be ready for sleep.
- Eliminate caffeine. Reduce the overall amount of caffeine you ingest throughout the day, but completely refrain from it in the evening hours. You might find it necessary to place the cutoff point earlier in the afternoon.
- Eliminate sugar. Sugar is another stimulant that can greatly affect your sleep and disturb your rhythms. Reduce your overall intake and eliminate it completely in the late afternoon and evening hours.
- Unplug. Move away from the monitors. The ambient light from electronics sends signals to your brain suggesting it is daytime hours and that it needs to wake up. If possible, remove electronics from your bedroom to eliminate disturbances throughout the night.
- Stick to a schedule. When your body is used to a routine, it will automatically begin preparing for bed as the bewitching hour nears.
- Stretch. Ease the tension from your body before climbing beneath the covers by engaging in some very light yoga style stretching.
Breathe and Focus
Once you are in bed, take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the intake as well as the long exhale. Count the breaths on the exhale up to 10, and then begin again. As your mind begins to wander, bring its focus back to your body.
Once you have stabilized your breathing, go through your day one step at a time, carefully passing over each event with each breath. Walk slowly through the details, until you eventually bring your attention to the very moment you entered your bed and began breathing. Now focus once again on the breathing and your body’s response to each breath. Continue placing your attention on the intake and exhale until you begin to drift off.
Give yourself time to get used to your new changes and eventually you will be able to fall asleep with ease.