4 Guided Meditations to Help you Sleep Like a Baby
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
― Homer, The Odyssey
What’s The Big Deal?
Many people are unaware of how sleep affects our mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many Americans are walking around sleep deprived in our country. According to the Center for Disease Control, 50-70 million adult Americans suffer from a sleep or wakefulness disorder. Furthermore, sleep deprivation has become a public health concern, and those that report getting less than the recommended daily hours of sleep have greater difficulty functioning in their daily lives.
In fact, take a look at some of the negative side effects associated with insufficient sleep:
- Inattention and Impulsivity indistinguishable from ADHD
- Incoherence similar to being intoxicated with alcohol
- Skin Problems
- Decreased Motor Skills
- Mood Changes
- Emotional Dysregulation
- High Blood Pressure
- Weight Gain
- Low Sex Drive
- Increased Risk for Diabetes and Heart Disease
- Weakened Immunity
- Memory Problems
- Problems with word retrieval
- Vision Problems
- Accidents (i.e. car accidents, heavy machinery accidents)
Your Brain and Sleep
You are likely wondering how can lack of sleep cause so many problems? Sleep deprivation affects many human systems including the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. This is because lack of sleep affects many parts of the brain.
As Rachel Hosie, explains, many studies detail how the brain is affected by lack of sleep. Firstly, astrocytes, whose job is to clean out worn out cells in the brain, go into overdrive during sleep deprivation. This is because they are mistaking “tired cells” for those needing to be cleaned out. Also, research shows that the amygdala, our emotional warehouse in the brain, is overactive during sleep deprivation. In addition, the link between the amygdala and the regulating medial prefrontal cortex is disrupted. The hippocampus in the brain is responsible for storing new memories, however when we are sleep deprived it’s functioning is impaired. And finally, the frontal and parietal lobe have decreased activity when we are sleep deprived, affecting our ability to concentrate, make decisions, and control our behavior (Hosie, 2017).
So How Much Sleep Should You Get
Common medical advice suggests maintaining between 7-9 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Unfortunately, according to the a National Health Institute survey in 2007, 30% of adults reported getting only 6 hours or less of sleep per night. And this has only risen in the last decade.
The Good News
There is hope if you struggle with getting quality sleep. Here are some ways to deal with problems getting to sleep or staying asleep:
- Develop a Bedtime Routine. Go to bed at the same time each night, and pick some of the following activities to do consistently. This will eventually help your mind settle down to slumber because it will trigger a pattern that ends with sleep.
- Use Aromatherapy. Diffuse essential oils like lavender and rose to calm the senses and mind.
- Face Massage. Give yourself a gentle face massage to encourage relaxation and to help release tension.
- Journal. Take time to get out your thoughts at the end of the day. It may even be helpful to start a nightly gratitude practice in your journal. Try our Conscious Life Journal for a conscious approach to reflection and gratitude.
- Eat Calming Foods. Try to eat settling foods like cherries, jasmine rice, or bananas for a restful sleep.
- Drink Herbal Tea Before Bed. Drinking soothing teas like camomile, lemon balm, lavender, and Moroccan mint tea will relax your body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
- Light Stretching or Yoga. Release tension in your body with gentle body movement to connect the mind and body, and encourage relaxation.
USE GUIDED MEDITATIONS TO HELP YOU FALL ASLEEP
And On that Final Note…
We wanted to offer you links to 5 guided meditations for sleep that we love. These links have been tried, tested, and approved as great aides to help you fall asleep. These videos will also help you relax, reduce stress, and release tension.
Here are 4 Guided Meditations to Help You Sleep Like A Baby:
One: Guided Sleep Meditation with Deepak Chopra:
Video Description: Nov 13, 2014
In this sleep meditation, Deepak Chopra, M.D., leads us through a calming exercise to ease us into rest, and also to reimagine what our sleep space can be. Take a few moments to remove the barriers to sleep and reclaim the stability of your mind. Through this careful instruction you will be lulled into a restful state and from there you will find comfortable and spacious slumber.
Two: Yoga Nidra for Sleep by DoYogaWithMe.com
Video Description: Jennifer Piercy takes you through a beautifully guided Yoga Nidra for Sleep meditation. Her deeply calming voice penetrates into your very soul, instilling a sense of internal peace and leaving you feeling incredibly relaxed, present and rejuvenated.
Three: Body Scan for Sleep by Diana Winston
Video Description: This video will help you get in touch with your body in a way that will anchor you into the present moment. This allows you to let go of thoughts related to the past and present, and relax into the present moment of exhaustion and sleepiness at the the end of the day.
Four: Guided Meditation for Anxiety by Tiffany Shelton
Video Description: Let go of stress and ruminating thoughts. This meditation will guide you through a simple and brief acceptance exercise that will help you relax and let go.
I hope these tips help you get the sleep that we all so desperately need. Let us know if these tips help you. Happy meditating and goodnight conscious folks!
– Tiffany Shelton, M.A. is a psychotherapist and consciousness expert. Her passion to elevate consciousness goes beyond the message of self-care or wellness, but instead consciously adds to these movements by demanding awakening and insight. Learn more about Tiffany Shelton by clicking here.
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Guided Meditations For Sleep