How Meditation Can Help Promote Relaxation and Better Sleep

As you lay your head on your pillow to go to sleep, your thoughts start tumbling out of control. You mull over something that happened at work and make a mental list of what you have to do tomorrow. Your body feels tense and on edge as the minutes tick by. You start worrying that you’ll be too tired to function in the morning, which puts sleep even further out of reach.

How A Free Meditation App Can Help Improve Sleep

If this sounds familiar, you’re certainly not alone. Various studies have shown that insomnia affects 10-30 percent of the population across the globe. Thankfully, a powerful tool exists that can help you conquer your sleep woes: meditation. In this article, we’ll be exploring how simple meditation techniques can help calm your body and mind and create the space needed for deep sleep.

Why is sleep so important anyway?

Good sleep isn’t a luxury—it’s an essential function that allows your body and mind to rest, repair, and recharge. Although it might look like you’re not doing much while asleep, your brain and body are actually hard at work overseeing a wide variety of biological upkeep.

Without enough sleep, your brain struggles to perform basic functions and you increase your risk of several health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, infection, and depression.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a centuries-old practice that encompasses a variety of mind and body techniques used to promote relaxation and train your attention. Many people believe that meditation is about trying to turn off your thoughts and feelings, but that is incorrect. In actuality, meditation teaches you to observe your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them, allowing you to live in a more present state of awareness.

How does meditation help with sleep?

If restorative sleep eludes you night after night, adopting a nightly meditation practice before bedtime could help. Let’s take a look at the primary ways meditation supports restful sleep:

Evokes the relaxation response

While many factors can impair your ability to sleep, stress is one of the main culprits. Stress throws your body into a state of fight-or-flight, which triggers a cascade of anxious thoughts, nervous energy, and uncomfortable bodily sensations.

Through techniques that focus on deep breathing and bringing the mind’s attention to the present moment, meditation reduces the stimulation of the sympathetic ne