The importance of sleep
We don’t need to study psychology or listen to doctors to know why we need a good night’s sleep; we can all see the difference in our behaviour, our emotions, and our lifestyle when we have had a long night. Many things can keep us up at night from financial stress to work worries, or even little one’s telling us about monsters under the bed. Learning to switch our minds off and allowing ourselves to become still can create a perfect way to slip into a deep and peaceful night’s sleep. Follow these simple steps to get a good night’s rest:
1. Preparation is key
Preparing yourself for bed is an important step in your bedtime meditation practice, there are a few simple ways you could do. Refrain from any caffeine after 6pm at night and perhaps change your usual cup of English Breakfast to a delicious pot of Camomile or Peppermint tea. Clean body equals a clean mind, so perhaps wait until later at night to have a warm shower and ensure you wash off all makeup/dirt from the day; this will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. An important action to still the mind is to turn off any social media or TV outlets for a minimum of half an hour before bed, and just allow your brain to quieten down gently.
2. Love Your Bed
For a sleep meditation, your bed is your best friend. You do not need to sit on the floor or chant, you can simply fall into your own bed and follow the meditation at your own space. Make sure the room is dark/dimly lit and that everything is quiet. If you prefer meditating to music, then perhaps put on your favourite relaxing noises such as gentle ocean sounds or soft Sanskrit chanting.
3. No Pressure
Before you attempt your meditation, let go of all expectations and any judgements towards yourself. Perhaps you fall asleep in a matter of minutes or maybe it takes an hour; this is your meditation practice and it takes patience and practice to perfect it. Simply enjoy the time you are spending taking care of yourself.
4. Concentrate on your Breathing
Now, bring all your attention to your breathing and just your breathing. Take a deep inhale through the nose, feeling your chest and belly rise and exhale through the mouth, feeling everything deflate. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly like this and feel yourself float away...