It’s no secret that meditation can help us sleep better. There are some specific meditative exercises that can help us nod off when our minds are in overdrive. In the exercise below, the meditation experts at Headspace share some insight for feeling more at ease when your head hits the pillow. Remember, this is not an exercise to make you go to sleep, but rather to increase your awareness and understanding of your mind at night. It just so happens that it often results in sleep.
Once you’re lying comfortably in bed, take five deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. As you breathe in, try to get a sense of the lungs filling with air and the chest expanding. As you breathe out, imagine the thoughts and feelings of the day just disappearing into the distance, and any feelings of tension in the body just melting away. This will help to prepare both the body and the mind for the exercise ahead.
Begin by checking-in — how you’re feeling –in both body and mind. Remember that in the same way you can’t rush relaxation, you cannot rush sleep, so take your time with this part of the exercise. Don’t worry if there are lots of thoughts whizzing around (this is absolutely normal). For now, just let them do their own thing. Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to resist the thoughts, no matter how unsettling or uncomfortable they may be.
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