Meditation Benefits Before Going to Bed.

The world seems to be speeding up everyday. We are working longer hours, We are busier than we have ever been before, the traffic is snarling more and more and our stress levels are going through the roof. The consequence to this is that more and more people are suffering insomnia and this can become dangerous and affect your ability to function effectively. One of the best tools to help you with both insomnia and stress is meditation and in particular, meditating before going to bed.

The role of meditation before sleep is to slow your body and your mind down so that it gets to a point where it is easier for it to fall naturally asleep.

There are many techniques that you can use to meditate including a seated meditation or a lying down meditation. It is advisable to do the sitting method over the lying method because using the lying method so close to going to sleep you may tend to go to sleep rather than actually meditating. There is a clear difference between sleep and meditation.

The core difference is that during meditation your mind needs to be clear but focused where as during sleep, you do not want to be focused. You want nothing to be focused in your mind and you want your body and mind to get to that point where you shutdown.

Things to take care before meditating
  1. Your meditation session should take no more than 20 minutes
  2. Your meditation session should start 40 minutes prior to going to bed
  3. Your meditation technique during the session should use either the deep breathing technique or basic number counting.
  4. Do not drink alcohol, coffee, tea or any other caffeinated drink prior to sleep or you will affect the effectiveness of the meditation session.
Why you should Meditate?
Meditation is very important for you if you are facing any of these in your day to day life:
  1. If you feel impatient all the time and snap easily at your partners or kids for any reason.
  2. You feel there is lot going in your life and you are not getting time for yourself
  3. You feel stressed, tired and worn out everyday in day to day pressures at work or home
  4. You feel dull and feel life is not worth living
  5. You cant focus on anything
  6. You have a baby, you have home chores, you have so much to do and you feel irritated
  7. You don't get sound sleep at night and when you wake up next morning you feel lethargic and not fresh.
These all problems are more than enough for you to Meditate. 

Meditation helps you to channelize your energy and bring peace to your mind, body and soul. The major benefits are as follows:

Greater peace of mind
Meditation gives us the opportunity to de-clutter and do some housekeeping of the mind. It’s not a time to organize thoughts, but rather to let your thoughts be. To put them aside and be present with yourself. As a result you’ll find a greater ease in living your daily life and finding peace of mind.

Greater self-awareness
Meditation helps us to reconnect with the present and experience our lives with self-awareness. We are then able to turn off the autopilot and respond to life as we truly want to – on our own terms and not based on the expectations of others or learned reactions and patterns.

Improved relationships
The self-awareness that meditation cultivates also helps us to see others more clearly, and with that clarity comes the opportunity to connect more deeply with others and build stronger relationships.

Respond to challenges with grace
Meditation helps us to relieve stress and see the present moment more clearly. As a result, we can better respond to challenges in a productive manner rather than react on autopilot and do or say things that we later regret

Increased energy
Meditation helps to calm your mind, but in doing so it also rejuvenates the body. Your mind and body are connected and will energize or drain the other depending on how you treat them.

Improved sleep
Meditation at any time of the day will help to calm your busy mind and improve your sleep. However, meditation in the evening has the added benefit of giving your body a break before bed. The rejuvenated, restful feeling you feel in your body after meditation, combined with a calm mind, is one of the keys to achieving your most restful sleep ever.

Improved focus
Meditation is an ideal solution. De-cluttering your mind, reducing stress and helping you to become self-aware are all ways in which meditation helps you to live in the moment and regain greater focus.

Improved physical health
Using meditation, we can better deal with and reduce the amount of stress in our lives. And, as a result, we can improve our health. The health benefits of meditation are difficult to quantify, but the personal experience of those who meditate regularly shows that there is a direct connection between meditation and improved health. 

Still Skeptical? Take the 30 day meditation challenge and see for yourself.
Some simple tips on how to start Meditating.
  1. postureWhether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head up. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.
  2. eyesTry and keep you eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes and let your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and stories. However, it’s important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It’s good to experiment and see what feels best for you.
  3. focusIn ordinary consciousness we are hardly ever present. For example, sometimes we drive the car on autopilot while being preoccupied with thoughts. Suddenly we arrive at our destination and don’t remember anything about the drive!

    So, meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind! Let’s take a look at what focus is. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn't helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy.

    To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the center of awareness. I suggest using the breath as a focus. It’s like a natural door that connects ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. Attention comes from nowhere. It has no cause. It belongs to no one
  4. the breathPaying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in the present moment. Notice your breath streaming in and out. There’s no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural.
  5. counting you breathIf you are having difficulties settling, you can try counting the breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. On your out breath, silently count “one”, then “two”, and up to “four”. Then return to “one”. Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed far away or you find yourself counting “thirtythree”, simply return to “one”. In this way, “one” is like coming home to the present moment. It’s good to return without a backward glance.
  6. thoughtsWhen you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning your focus to the breath. Don’t try and stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave. Then shine the soft light of your attention on your breath.
  7. emotionsIt’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. This is because some emotions tend to breed stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame and fear create stories that repeat over and over in the mind.

    The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on the body feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. In this way you are honouring your emotions but not becoming entangled in stories.
  8. silenceSilence is healing. I know that there are is a lot of ‘meditation music’ around, but nothing beats simple silence. Otherwise the music or sounds on the tape just drown out the chatter in your mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment.
  9. lengthStart with 10 minutes and only sit longer if you feel that that is too short. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes. That’s a length that allows you to settle your mind without causing too much stress on your body. Some people enjoy sitting for an hour at a time. Others find that they can’t sit longer than 10 minutes. Do what feels right for you!
  10. placeIt’s lovely to create a special place to sit. You might like to place a candle on your altar and objects that have meaning to you. It’s lovely to find objects for your altar as you walk. Maybe you find stones, or seashells, or flowers that speak to you.
  11. enjoymentMost of all it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day. It’s helpful to establish a daily habit.


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