Sleepless nights can be very troubling, and can end up being a continuous circle of stressing over not being able to sleep, and knowing if you fall asleep, you may not wake up on time; so, you go full circle and aren’t able to sleep… again. That cycle can be very overwhelming, but unfortunately, that doesn’t help you sleep either! The sleepiness you feel the next day can leave you feeling unproductive, unmotivated, and can even have a harmful effect on your health.

However, all is not lost. There are several methods which you can try to help you fall asleep naturally, one of those being meditation – so, the question is, does meditation help you sleep? We’ll take a look at various studies, facts, and guidelines to give you a better night’s sleep.

Mindful Meditation

Black, D. et al. conducted a randomised clinical trial where two parallel groups off participants would either receive a standardised mindful awareness practices (MAPs) intervention, or a sleep hygiene education (SHE) intervention over the course of 6 weeks, with 2 hours per week intervention. The results of the study confirmed the following:

“The use of a community-accessible MAPs intervention resulted in improvements in sleep quality at immediate postintervention, which was superior to a highly structured SHE intervention. Formalized mindfulness-based interventions have clinical importance by possibly serving to remediate sleep problems among older adults in the short term, and this effect appears to carry over into reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that has implications for quality of life”.

Mindfulness meditation consists of focusing on your breathing followed by bringing your minds’ attention to the present, without thinking about what’s going on in the world; what’s on my to-do list, should I have reacted in that way, etc. The idea is to break the cycle of everyday thoughts in order to evoke a relaxation response in your body, thus, making you feel more relaxed and able to get a good night’s sleep.

Not only can mindfulness meditation help people get to sleep, it has also been studied to aid those suffering with insomnia; a debilitating sleep condition that affects quality of sleep. Gong, H. et al. 2016 studied a total of 330 participants to see how mindfulness meditation could affect those suffering with insomnia. The results showed that mindfulness meditation significantly improved the total time insomniacs were awake for, and their overall sleep quality. Although it’s not necessarily proven that meditation can ‘cure’ insomnia, the results of the study suggest that it can improve some sleep parameters within suffering patients.

Meditation

Meditation Mobile Apps

We’re sure you’ve seen the endless list of mobile apps now claiming that they can help you sleep through meditation, but do any of them actually work? Aren’t we supposed to switch off from technology in order to get a good night’s sleep? We decided to do a bit of investigation into the realms of mobile apps and receive some factual results from the people that have actually used them.

Headspace is a mobile app which has been downloaded more than 18 million times. The idea is that it teaches you the skill of meditation in just 10 minutes per day. Sophie Kleeman from MIC published an article in 2005 which described her experience whilst using the Headspace app. Sophie quotes “I meditated at work, at home and on the subway. I meditated with screaming children in my ear and I meditated in silence. I meditated when I was anxious and when I wasn't”. This is a pertinent point; although meditation can help you with sleep, it can also help in other scenarios too, becoming more of a habit than a chore, something which can be incorporated into your lifestyle without even thinking about doing it.

Mobile Apps

Does Meditation Help You Sleep?

There’s no doubt that for some people, meditation can help you sleep. Meditation is a form of relaxation, a technique which can be learned over time and integrated within your lifestyle to improve sleep. Practicing meditation can have a profound effect not only on sleep, but brain and metabolic functions too.

For some, it may be the case that meditation combined with another form of sleep aid, e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, could be the answer. Resolving the core of your sleep problems is, ultimately, the best way to help you sleep, however, we all know that’s much easier said than done. Meditation can help to relax the mind and shift you away from your daily stresses, anxiety, and thoughts, bringing you into a calmer state and peace of mind in order to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleeping in Bed

A New Mattress Can Help You Sleep Too

If your mattress has had its day, it’s about time you thought about going out with the old and in with the new. A new mattress can have a huge impact on sleep quality, so if you want a good night’s sleep every night of the week, find the perfect mattress for your needs here at Happy Beds.

HB Mattresses

Read More

Take a look at the blogs below and immerse yourself in all things sleep-related.

Plants in the Bedroom: How and Why They Can Help Improve Your Sleep

The Many Benefits of Sleeping with a Pillow Between Your Legs

Meet The Doctor: Sleep Advice From Dr. Steven Y. Park

References:

Black, D., O’Reilly, G., Olmstead, R., Breen, E. and Irwin, M. (2015). Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances. JAMA Internal Medicine, [online] 175(4), p.494. Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2110998.

Mic.com. (2017). I Tried to Train My Brain With a Meditation App — With Surprising Results. [online] Available at: https://mic.com/articles/125370/i-test-the-headspace-meditation-app-to-try-to-train-my-brain-to-chill#.pS2Epf3Yt

Gong H, e. (2017). Mindfulness meditation for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27663102