How to Beat Insomnia with Meditation
After many sleepless nights, do you want to beat insomnia — once and for all? Recent studies have shown that a little over half of adults in this country suffer from at least some type of mild insomnia, with around fifteen percent experiencing chronic symptoms. This means that many of those people are living their everyday lives, working, commuting, going out with friends and family, exercising, and doing anything else that they do all while functioning with some level of sleep deprivation.
This is a major problem that needs to be addressed, but for many people who have tried multiple treatments only to experience failure time and time again, the solution is as elusive as the slumber which they so desperately seek. However, there is a healthy and all-natural method of managing this disorder that countless people have experienced highly encouraging results with, and that is meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a word that almost everybody is familiar with, yet many people don’t know what it actually entails. We picture Tibetan monks sitting with their legs crossed overlooking a mountain range as they are deeply entranced, or perhaps we envision a yoga instructor leading their students in a harmonious chant while practicing various breathing techniques. The fact is that there are three main types of meditation, each with a unique process and function meant to help us in different areas of our lives:
In this type of meditation, a guide or instructor talks the practitioners through their mental and spiritual journey. Guided meditation usually serves a purpose such as attaining a goal or increasing confidence and happiness. It might be a student visualizing themselves acing a final. It could be a sports player imaging scoring the game-winning goal. It could also be someone simply finding peace and serenity through natural scenery.
This form of meditation is much more cognizant and aware of its surroundings. It is usually centered on some type of focal point that the person will look at while focusing their mind, as well. A repetitive chant or mantra such as “peace and calm” can also keep the mind active while still meditating. This helps many beginners who have difficulty getting started.
This is the one that we are actually the most interested in as a means to help its users manage sleep issues such as insomnia and sleep anxiety, as explained by a study published in the New York Times.
One group of participants were given various traditional methods of aiding their sleep such as avoiding late afternoon and evening coffee, restricting electronic devices one to two hours before bed, and exercising more. The other group was placed on a mindfulness meditation routine. By the end of the study, the meditation group showed significantly better progress in managing their sleeping problems.
This is also the most commonly practiced form of meditation as it is used by most yogis and in many western spiritualistic centers. It consists of simply trying to clear ones’ mind and be in the moment; focusing only on the sound of your own breathing, as well as the energies and vibrations that you feel in your body. This can help you to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep that all adults should strive to achieve.
When a random thought jumps in your head about work or something that you need to get from the grocery store, you just acknowledge it and put it back out of your mind. Don’t get mad at yourself. Don’t get frustrated. There is no “starting over”. You simply refocus on your breath and body.
This specific practice of meditation helps to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as lower blood pressure, clear and calm the mind, and bring an enhanced feeling of relaxation to those who engage in it regularly. All of these benefits greatly help in the process of falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.