According to the global average, 1 in 3 people experience a mild case of insomnia at some point in their lives. But an article on The Guardian indicates that the statistic is even higher in Britain. They cited the Great British Sleep Survey, which revealed that 51.3% of people struggle to get some sleep.
Women suffer more from insomnia
Women are even more prone to insomnia, with 74% reporting that they have difficulty sleeping at night. While taking sleeping pills can be helpful in the short term, it will gradually lose its effectiveness over time. In fact, taking this type of medication can be habit-forming. One safer, and more effective strategy you can apply is meditation.
But how exactly does meditation help cure insomnia?
According to Harvard Health Publishing, this activity relaxes the mind and the body. An inability to fall asleep easily at night can be linked to the hyperarousal of the nervous system, which may be caused by stress, caffeine, and poor sleeping habits. Through meditation, you are able to calm your senses so your mind and body can become relaxed enough to fall asleep easily. Leesa suggests that a clear mind is a catalyst for better quality sleep. It was pointed out that removing your worries is an important step towards good rest, and incorporating meditation into your bedtime rituals assists in letting go of your concerns.
Meditation to help with insomnia
Various studies have shown that meditation aids in improving sleep quality, and helps those who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. Research published by JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that training older adults – an age group commonly known for being prone to sleep disorders – in performing mindfulness meditation allows them to combat sleeplessness. It can minimise sleep-related daytime impairment as well, which can result in an inability or reduced capacity to perform tasks due to lack of sleep. Aside from aiding people in getting better rest, meditation can also protect you from ailments such as cardiovascular conditions, as well as from cognitive issues like depression.
Different types of meditation
There are various types of meditation that you can use to fall asleep quicker. One such technique is breathing meditation, where you focus on deep breathing. This contributes to slowing down the heart rate, which in turn helps your body become more relaxed.
Another option is mindfulness meditation, which requires you to concentrate on the things happening in the present. Note, however, that it needs greater focus compared to breathing meditation, as you need to keep your mind from focusing on the past or future. Mindfulness meditation strips you of this mindset, which helps trigger relaxation. Read more about mindfulness meditation here.
Mantra meditation, as the name suggests, entails reciting a word, a phrase, or a sound (the sounds do not necessarily have to make sense) over and over again until you reach a state of relaxation. The uttered sounds do not have magical or mystical properties; instead, they are used as an object of focus to help you centre your attention.
Guided meditations are another option. They are recommended for beginners as they can simply follow the instructions being given by the guide. Also, there are recordings that will walk you through the process. Because your ultimate goal is to doze off, it might be a good idea to refrain from using apps that have visual stimuli, as this, including the light from your smartphone screen, can affect your ability to fall asleep. A better option would be to use audio CDs, since you can simply play and follow the instructions without any light source distracting you and keeping you from nodding off.
All in all, the trick is to find out which kind matches your personality and your needs so you can perform the technique that is best suited for you.