Morning is often presented as the ideal time of day to meditate. A good, deep session after we first get up can be great for starting our day calm, focused and optimistic.
But trying it out before going to bed, either in addition to or in lieu of the beginning of the day, may be that elusive ticket to a solid night’s sleep that you’ve been searching for.
Bedtime is when so many of try to wind down, but when we get to that stillness we have to try to bring our minds to a screeching halt, emphasis on the “screech.” Without the distractions of the day our internal chatter gets louder and more insistent, trying to get the last word in. Suddenly you feel like you’re more awake than you’ve ever been in your life.
Through meditation you teach your brain to come to a state approaching rest, at peace and not chasing after every figment of thought or fancy that comes into your head. There are many forms of guided meditation wind down your thought process and make your brain receptive to the slumber you need to function healthfully the next day.
Here is a short mindfulness meditation exercise you can try as you’re getting into bed for the night. You can record yourself or someone else reading the script, or read it to yourself a few times until you can guide yourself from memory.
- Standing next to your bed, take a few deep breaths.
- Center yourself in the present moment, bringing your awareness to the body as it is right now.
- When you climb into bed, remain aware of what is occurring in the body.
- As you lie down, feel the body assume a resting position.
- Use the breath to bring mindfulness to the body and cultivate relaxation.
- As you breathe in, feel the lungs fill with air.
- When you exhale, feel the body soften into your mattress.