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Use meditation to alleviate stress and get to sleep more quickly

Meditation is an ancient practice that uses mindfulness to center thoughts, reduce stress, and help calm the mind. Meditation emphasizes focus and self-awareness to rid the mind of stress. Meditating at the end of the day is an excellent way to prepare your mind so you can sleep better and get control of stressful thinking.

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I know meditation can seem weird or even boring, but if you give it a try you will see the incredible benefits and completely understand why people love it. People don’t usually expect to enjoy meditation, but when they actually try it, they often experience the benefits. Learning to meditate is like working a muscle. The more often you use it, the easier it becomes.

Here are some simple tips for meditating at bedtime to reduce stress and sleep better:

Commit to the practice

Making the decision to meditate is the first and most important step. Since meditation gets easier over time, committing to using it is important. It may feel strange at first but stick with it. 

Choose the type of meditation that works for you

There are three general types of meditation: mindfulness, concentration, and guided meditation. 

  1. Mindfulness meditation is focusing on your breath and body and being keenly aware of how you feel inside your body and how your body is functioning in the moment. The goal during mindful meditation is to replace any wandering thoughts with mindfulness of what your body is experiencing instead. 
  2. Concentration meditation is focused on a word, thought, or phrase. This meditation may include focusing on an object or repeating a mantra audibly or inside your mind.
  3. Guided meditation includes listening to an audio that helps guide you into stress relief and sleep. The instructor may focus on physical aspects of your body or may share a story and guide you through the details. An easy option is to use Headspace, either the app (freemium) or on Netflix.
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Extend the length of meditation until you experience relief

In the beginning you may not be able to meditate for very long. That’s normal. Thoughts wander and stress has a way of overriding intentions. If you struggle with overthinking it, try journaling beforehand to get persistent thoughts out of your head. Don’t judge yourself or worry that you aren’t doing it right. Over time you can conquer your wandering mind and help it focus on your meditation practice and achieve relief and peace as you fall asleep. 

Meditation is a wonderful tool to use to reduce stress throughout the day. It is especially helpful before bed if stress tries to rob you of your sleep. Find a meditation style that works for you and commit to trying it for a month and you’ll discover an amazing ability to regulate your thoughts and enjoy restful sleep.

In the next post, I will be discussing bedtime routines. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list to find out more.

Check out the rest of the Sleep Better While Stressed series:

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Using Meditation to Reduce Stress and Fall Asleep Faster