Getting a good night's sleep
Restful sleep leaves us feeling rejuvenated and refreshed when we awake. The following day has less fatigue and the need for an afternoon power nap or even a bad mood. Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep doesn’t always come when we really want it. Or we start the night by getting to sleep but awake and cannot get back to sleep.
For me, guided sleep meditations help particularly Mandy’s Restful Sleep meditations.
The benefits of using guided meditations to help you get to sleep or back to sleep if you wake up comes from the soothing voice which guides you to focus your mind on your body. Your breath is focused on and then your body is scanned and sensed. Even a meditation that takes your mind on the visual Journey can give it the break and relaxation that your body yearns for in order to sleep. This practice activates your parasympathetic nervous system also called the ‘rest and digest’ system and when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, it produces a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body.
Your sympathetic nervous system, also called the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ system is switched off which will reduce stress and anxiety.
Guided sleep meditations help
The beauty of using a guided sleep meditation is that you aren’t forcing your body to sleep but rather sleep is a result of your mind and body relaxing and the feeling of calm that is produced with the rest and digest system switched on.
Using a guided sleep meditation gives you the feel of being lulled to sleep and invites a drifting off. A feeling of being held and safe further relaxes the mind and body to allow sleep to naturally occur.
A small study  of middle to older adults concluded that using mindfulness awareness practices daily resulted in the participants sleeping improved significantly over all and even more so than the participants who used sleep hygiene strategy to create better behaviours to optimize their sleep.
Creating good sleep habits
Good sleep hygiene is also important to include in your before bedtime prep such as limiting blue screen time, go to bed at the same time nightly and wake up at the same time, limit the noise and light during sleeping hours, wearing comfortable sleepwear, drink plenty of water during the day and practice some exercise or better yet, yoga. Integrating these habits with a guided sleep meditation is a winning combination.
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep nightly with teenagers needing 9 hours plus to give their bodies the rest it needs to restore and be alert for the following day. Most people don’t get enough sleep and go through their days sleep deprived which just plain feels bad but leads to mental exhaustion and health issues.
It’s important to put in some effort in to get the sleep your mind and body needs and a common response to using a guided sleep meditation in bed is that you fall asleep before it ends!
Wishing you a peaceful, restful sleep.
With gratitude, Theresa