Insomnia is a real problem for many people and it comes with secondary harmful effects such as the depressive feeling of not being in control of your sleep and yourself as a person.
We all want to sleep immediately we get to bed and close our eyes although it is not always possible for a lot of people. However, if your train your mind through meditation, you could reduce the symptoms of insomnia and find yourself sleeping faster and longer through the night.
Let’s take a look at how meditation helps deal with insomnia on the long term.
Understanding Insomnia Better
Lack of enough sleep or any at all is a major health issue affecting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across the world. Studies show that about 10% to 35% of the adults suffer symptoms of insomnia (1).
Most people fail to sleep because of stress. When you are stressed, you create tension in your body and immerse yourself into an endless string of thoughts that keep you awake the whole night.
Also, people who are always using mobile devices and computers have a hard time sleeping especially if they use the devices a few minutes before bedtime or when they take them to bed with them.
Research has revealed that the more devices you use during the day, the harder it becomes for you to sleep at night (2).
Other causes of lack of sleep may include anxiety, health issues, depression, noise and having too much heat in the environment.
It is also important to know that there are 2 types of insomnia, that is, acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia is when you lack sleep every so often and this persists for a long period of time.
Acute insomnia, on the other hand, is when you are deprived of sleep for a few nights over short period of time, and then it goes away and you start sleeping well.
7 to 9 hours every night is the best time for many people to sleep so that they feel fresh and energized the following day. It helps them become more productive too.
Among many solutions to insomnia, meditation is a potent method to help you sleep quickly and have deep, restful and undisturbed sleep throughout the night.
How Meditation Helps Fight Insomnia
Research from Harvard Medical School and other research bodies that are based on improving sleep quality through meditation have found that meditation, in its various forms, goes a long way in helping reduce many of the factors that cause insomnia (3)(4).
It not only helps to deal with insomnia but also depression, fatigue, pain, blood pressure and other sleep related disorders.
Ideally, meditation provides the relaxation state to the aroused mind of the people who struggle with insomnia, to help them reduce the thoughts that prevent them from sleeping and allow them to sleep easily and remain asleep for long.
It also improves the autonomic nervous system control to help you not to be awakened easily.
Meditation has also proven to be more effective than many sleep education classes that are aimed at helping people improve their sleeping habits.
Other ways meditation has been found to help fight insomnia is through:
– Boosting levels of the hormone, melatonin, which is known to influence sleep and wake cycles
– Increasing the alpha, delta and theta brainwaves that induce sleep and relaxation
How to Use Meditation For Better Quality Sleep
The value of meditation and the consistency of doing it are key aspects that make for the benefits you are looking for. So it is essential that you put effort into making sure you are doing your meditation as properly as you can and as often as possible.
This will help you start enjoying the benefits of improved sleep sooner.
You can engage in a number of styles of meditation to help you fight insomnia (5).
Mindfulness meditation is among the meditation styles you can work with. It helps you learn and master the ability of living in the present moment. You get to observe your thoughts, sensations and emotions without forming any opinions or judgments that then increases your awareness.
Mantra meditation is also another type of meditation that uses a mantra (word or phrase that is positively uplifting) to help you cut down on the racing thoughts and allow you to calm down and relax.
Also, relaxation meditation is a style you can use to become more relaxed to create a conducive environment for falling and remaining asleep (6).
You can also use guided meditation for sleep, where you will be taken through the meditation session by a deep sleep meditation expert on how to prepare your mind and body for sleep. You can also use meditation apps, websites, podcasts and videos for this purpose.
Body scan meditation also comes in handy when you want to release the tension in your body. With this meditation, you do a mental scan of your whole body. You go through each part of your body and observe the feelings and sensations that you have.
This exercise will help you relax deeply and fall easily asleep.
Meditation based therapies sleep such as the Mindfulness Based Therapy for Insomnia (MBT-I) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) are also useful techniques to overcome insomnia (7)(8).
CBT-I is really potent when used together with mindfulness meditation. It has more benefits to offer.
In conclusion, meditation allows you to create the right environment for you to fall asleep without a lot of effort and enjoy the refreshing sleep for the whole night without having waking moments between when you sleep to when you should wake up.
And more than just helping you to deal with insomnia, there are also a wide range of meditation benefits that help you mentally, emotionally and even physically, which would really improve the quality of your life.
We encourage you to find the best meditation for yourself and immerse yourself into the practice immediately and doing it regularly so that you start reaping its benefits as soon as possible.