Are you someone who finds it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night? Well, you are not alone. Many people suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia at some point in their lives—about 50% of people worldwide face sleeping issues. Adults who have insomnia or stress-related problems become desperate to find a quick fix and reach out for unscrupulous substances like alcohol.
There are many holistic and inexpensive natural therapies such as meditation that can help you beat insomnia. Meditation is a practice wherein you can employ a simple technique like mindfulness to focus your attention for mental clarity and feelings of inner peace. It entails training your mind to focus on the present moment. We bring to you five simple ways to use meditation to fight insomnia.
Use of Cannabis for Insomnia
Marijuana or cannabis are increasingly being used to treat anxiety and stress-related conditions like insomnia. A study was carried out in 2019 to gauge the effectiveness of cannabis on anxiety and sleep disorders. You can consume cannabis in oils, capsules, gummies, and even ghost drops weed. But, cannabis is not regulated by the FDA and should be consumed albeit with caution.
Meditation Techniques to Fight Insomnia
Meditation is all about learning how to quiet your thoughts and mind. Meditation can be practiced anywhere and anytime. Besides, it doesn’t require any gear or tools to make it a safe and easy-to-follow technique.
Here are some simple ways in which meditation helps fight insomnia:
- Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is the most popular form of meditation that involves awareness of self and your body. It is a simple form of meditation where you observe your thoughts and emotions without judging them.
How to practice mindfulness meditation:
- Get rid of all the things that can distract you from practicing meditation, like all electronic gadgets. Then, lie down on a bed or a yoga mat in a comfortable position.
- This meditation involves focused breathing wherein you deeply inhale through a count of 10 and then hold your breath for another ten counts. Then, exhale your breath in 10 counts. Repeat this procedure five times.
- Become more aware of your breath and body. Consciously relax a body part that seems tense.
2. Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation revolves around focussing on each body part. You have to become more aware of your bodily sensations, such as tensed muscles and aches and pains. The premise is that the very act of focusing enables relaxation and therein helps you sleep.
How to practice Body Scan meditation:
- As with any form of meditation, you need to clear any form of distractions such as noises and gadgets from your room.
- Start by breathing slowly while you keep your eyes closed. Experience the weight of your body while you lie on a bed or mat.
- You need to focus, starting from your face and then eventually shifting it downwards to your body. Start with relaxing your jaws, facial muscles, and your eyes.
- Move focus towards your neck and shoulders, arms, fingers, back, hips, and legs. Become aware of each body part and try to relax them.
3. Guided Meditation
Guided meditation or guided imagery is a kind of meditation wherein a person instructs and guides you through each step of meditation. They may make you hear visuals or sounds that help relax your body. Alternatively, if you are having trouble falling asleep, there are various guided meditation podcasts and apps you can find online.
How to practice guided meditation:
- Select a guided imagery recording. You will need to reduce your phone’s light to listen to the recording.
- Lie down on a mat or bed and start the recording. Take slow deep breaths while focussing on the instructor’s voice.
- Your mind can wander, and you can get distracted. Try to bring your focus back to the recording.
4. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation uses a word or a phrase that is repeated during meditation to help you relax. This meditation is used to increase focus and boost awareness. Reduced stress and anxiety, increased calm, and a positive outlook are some benefits of practicing mantra meditation.
How to practice Mantra meditation:
- Choose a clutter-free, quiet place and sit in a comfortable position. You can choose to sit in a chair or on a mat and even a bed.
- Set a timer for how long you wish to meditate. Use a relaxing sound such as an ocean wave for the timer to get the least distracted.
- Start breathing deeply by slowly inhaling and then exhaling.
- While you continue deep breathing, start chanting your mantra. You will notice that your mantra chanting is in tandem with your breaths. Check your wandering thoughts by re-focussing on your mantra and breathing.
5. Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga is a more active form of meditation. It incorporates yoga poses that are intertwined with breaths and mantras. This form of yoga can enhance strength and reduce pain. Kundalini yoga can reduce depression and anxiety while relaxing your mind and body for better sleep. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Yoga emphasizes kundalini yoga’s positive outcome on perceived stress-related conditions like insomnia.
The Bottom Line
Insomnia has long been associated with a stress-related condition. Meditation practice helps to alleviate our mental health issues along with offering some physiological benefits that together help us sleep better.