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Simple Meditation Techniques To Promote Better Sleep

What do Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow and swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom have in common?

They all practice meditation.

For the unacquainted, the word ‘meditation’ may conjure up images of tranquil halls, burning incense and chants of om. But this centuries-old practice isn’t just for yogis and the spiritually enlightened. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere, at anytime, and by anyone. What’s more, regular meditation has been proven to ease stress and anxiety, and is a natural sleep aid for insomnia.

simple meditation techniques

Are you new to meditation and unsure where to begin? Relax. These simple meditation techniques are ideal for beginners. Build any of these exercises into your bedtime routine to calm your mind and encourage a deeper, more restorative sleep.

1. Listen to calming music

Music relaxation techniques have been shown to have a powerful effect on easing stress and reducing insomnia symptoms.

Start by making your bedroom a calm and peaceful environment. Clear away clutter and block out any external noise.

Find a comfortable position either sitting or lying on your bed and play soft, soothing music. It’s best to pick instrumentals with a calming pace, including classical, light jazz, and stringed tunes as well as nature soundtracks. Then simply close your eyes and focus on the melody and beat of the music.

bedtime calming music

2. Deep abdominal breathing

Whilst this exercise can be practiced at any time during the day, it’s particularly effective just before bed to help you fall asleep quickly and easily.

Lie on your bed and lightly rest your hands on your belly. Concentrate on breathing deeply into your abdomen. Bring your awareness to the way your hands naturally move up and down.

Focusing on this movement is very calming because it redirects your mind from busy thoughts and onto your body. The distraction helps to ease stress and worry, and brings your mind to a different place.

3. Guided imagery

A stressful day often leads to a restless night. To ease worries which are disrupting sleep, spend a few minutes imagining a calm scene. Clouds, the ocean, and mountains are common choices – although there are really no rules about what you should imagine, so long as it’s calming.

It’s ok if your mind wanders, too – simply draw your focus gently back.

guided imagery

You can also combine guided imagery with music relaxation and deep, abdominal breathing.

4. Practice mindfulness meditation using an app

Mindfulness involves taking time to be completely aware of your physical body and your thoughts, and letting go of worry or self-judgement.

To become experienced at mindfulness meditation takes practice, but that’s no reason to feel daunted. There are many apps with guided personal meditations that are perfect for beginners.

We highly recommend trying Headspace, buddhify or The Mindfulness App.

Do you practice meditation? What relaxation techniques work for you?

Sleep well!

 

 

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