Health & Fitness / 20 February, 2024 / My Baba

The Benefits Of Meditation For Sleep: Expert Insights

How much sleep do you get every night? It’s recommended that we have eight hours of quality sleep daily, but many people don’t get enough sleep. There are different ways you can improve your sleep. Let’s talk about the benefits of meditation for sleep.

About 74% of adults in the UK reported a decline in quality sleep in 2022. Only 33% get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Yet, we know that lack of sleep is linked to long-term health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and depression. So, it’s important to have quality sleep each day because that’s when the body recovers and heals itself.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind-body technique to help calm and relax your mind. It involves focusing on a specific thought, object, or activity to help you feel more aware of the present moment.

This practice has been used for centuries to reduce stress, promote well-being, and increase self-awareness. There are different types of meditation, such as mindfulness, loving-kindness, and transcendental meditation.

The goal of meditation is to achieve mental clarity and inner peace by letting go of distracting thoughts and focusing on the now.

How Can Meditation Improve Sleep?

Several studies have shown that meditation is effective in improving sleep quality. It can help you fall asleep faster and longer and enhance the quality of your sleep. Here’s how:

Reduces Stress And Anxiety

Meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety by triggering the body’s relaxation response. It helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

“When you’re relaxed and calm, you can sleep much easier and longer without disruptions,” said Nancy Mitchell, RN at Assisted Living. “Meditation enhances your brain’s ability to regulate emotions and reduces racing thoughts.”

Promotes Better Sleep Patterns

Meditation helps increase melatonin levels and promotes better sleep patterns.

“Melatonin is the hormone or the body’s natural chemical that helps keep your sleep-wake cycle at a regular rhythm. Research suggests that meditation helps synchronize your body clock, so you sleep and wake up on a more regular rhythm,” explained Mitchell.

Helps Regulate Breathing And Heart Rate

Meditation techniques focus on breathing, which can calm the body and mind. Breathing exercises slow down the breathing rate and decrease the heart rate to keep you relaxed. This helps you transition into sleep much easier.

Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to sleep problems like sleep apnea and insomnia. Meditation helps the body calm down, which relaxes the blood vessels and regulates blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can help improve sleep quality.

Enhances The Immune System

Meditation helps regulate inflammatory responses and boost immune resilience.

“When your immune system is strong, you’re less prone to illnesses,” said Mitchell. “And when you’re healthy, your body is more likely to maintain regular sleep patterns. You experience restorative sleep because your body is not busy fighting off infections.”

How to Practice Meditation

There are different types of meditation exercises, but all share the following practices:

  • Find a quiet spot at home where you can concentrate and are free of distractions.
  • Get into a comfortable position. You can meditate while sitting or lying down, but you can also do it while standing or walking.
  • Choose an object to focus on or a phrase to repeat.
  • Close your eyes and do deep breathing.

You may also follow a guided meditation online or listen to calming music while meditating.

Conclusion

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of your sleep. It helps address some of the most common culprits of poor sleep quality, like stress and anxiety. If you’re struggling with sleep, meditation can help you get back on proper sleep patterns. What’s more, you can also improve your overall well-being. So, start practising meditation and see how it can benefit you.

Article by Alejandra Leyva a digital nomad who practices slow living. 

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