How To Improve Your Sleep With Meditation
The way I see it, sleep is a luxury. As someone who lives in an apartment building with thin walls and loud neighbors, I’ve been forced to become accustomed to living without the luxury of uninterrupted sleep. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement! If you're like me and are looking for ways to improve your sleep with meditation, here are some tips to help you get started:
It Takes Time!
It takes time to learn how to meditate. It’s a skill, like learning to drive or play the piano. You can't just do it overnight; you have to practice and study in order to get better at it. And even then, it's not easy.
However, if you've been struggling with sleep and want something more natural than medication, meditation may be worth trying out!
Let It Come Naturally
It's normal to have some resistance when you first start meditating. It might feel like you're doing something wrong because you can't clear your mind, or your thoughts are too loud, or you're falling asleep. Just know that these feelings are normal, and it's okay if they happen. You're going to get better at meditation the more you practice it.
It can also be helpful if you don't expect yourself to feel certain things during meditation—like calmness, relaxation or clarity—because these sensations may not come right away for some people (or ever). The point of meditation is not about trying to feel something specific; it's about being fully present in the moment. If a thought pops into your head during practice, that’s fine! Just acknowledge its presence and let it pass by without judging yourself for having it in the first place.
Listen to Your Breathing.
The next step is to listen to the sound of your breathing. This practice can be done lying down, sitting up, or even standing.
Focus on the sound of your breathing in the room and then focus on the sound of your breathing in your body. For example, listen carefully to each breath that enters through your nose and then leaves through your mouth as you exhale.
"Let It Goooooo"....(Yes, We Know)
Meditation is about noticing your thoughts and letting them go. It's not about trying to stop thinking, or trying to force yourself to feel something you don't feel. If you sit down to meditate and all you can think about is the fact that meditation is boring or that it's taking too much time out of your day, then those are the thoughts that will keep coming back until they become a part of who you are as an individual. To avoid this, try focusing on the breath and body sensations instead.
What Are You Thinking About?
You can't let go of your thoughts until you notice them. In order to do that, you have to become aware of them. This is where meditation comes in: it teaches you how to become aware of the present moment and focus on your breathing without letting other thoughts distract you.
However, before you can let go of the thoughts, you first have to notice that they're there; otherwise it's like trying to remove a splinter from your hand while being asleep—you might remove the splinter eventually but in the meantime it'll be excruciatingly painful! And so when we meditate we learn to recognize our own minds by paying attention only to what's happening right now without allowing ourselves any distractions from everyday life (like emails or text messages).
Close Your Eyes and Focus On What You Hear.
You can also use sound to help you focus on your meditation. Learn how to meditate by focusing on what you hear, and then take that focus with you into the day ahead of you.
Start by closing your eyes and focusing on what is around you. Listen carefully for any sounds, from close up or from far away. Focus on those sounds so they are all that are in your head—and ignore anything else! Even if there are noises that make it hard for you to concentrate and hear clearly (like loud music), try not to let them distract you too much.
If there's an especially soothing sound nearby—like bird song or running water—focus as much attention as possible on this pleasant noise until it becomes part of who YOU are: "I am listening." Try saying this out loud a few times while paying special attention to the way it feels inside your body when playing with another person's emotions during an argument; if done properly, this technique will cause discomfort which leads directly into anger over time."
It's Not Always Easy To Concentrate
If you're having trouble concentrating, focus on the sounds that are so constant you're used to ignoring them, like the hum of an air conditioner or the ticking of a clock. These background noises are all around us, but we don't notice them unless they change. When I meditate I find myself listening more closely to these sounds and realizing how much I've been missing out on by failing to notice them previously.
Just Start With 60 Seconds
If your meditation practice is new, start with just sixty seconds per night and gradually work up from there. The goal isn't to force yourself to feel things you don't feel or make things happen in a particular way—it's about getting better at noticing your thoughts, letting them pass through the mind, and then moving on. As beginners often struggle with this last part of the process (letting go), it can be helpful to start by meditating for only one minute each day before gradually increasing the amount of time you spend meditating over time until you reach five minutes per session.
I think it's important that you keep in mind that meditation is not just a one-size-fits-all practice. It's something that everyone will have to tailor to their own needs and preferences—and maybe even make up new ones! The key thing here is finding what works for you and then keeping at it until it becomes a habit. If meditation helps with your sleep, don't give up on it just because sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world (which can happen sometimes). You'll be glad later when you see all the wonderful changes taking place in your life thanks to this beautiful practice.