Simple Guide to Sleep Meditation

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With the current pace and activity of life, stress is high for many people.  During the workweek, many are unable to sleep restfully, and spend their free time catching up.  If the regular sleeping hours are spent tossing, turning, and feeling worked up, that builds up stress. Research says 51% of adults worldwide get less sleep than they need to at night, and 80 percent of adults use weekend days to make up for sleep lost during the week.  The fatigue resulting from sleep deprivation is a major cause of increased stress levels, which makes more likely the onset of conditions like hypertension, strokes, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, decrease in immunity etc.

Most of the day is spent expending energy at all levels on activities.  As the day progresses, we find that our mind and body are wound up and stress begins to accumulate.  The cells in the body are not able to repair themselves due to the constant activity of moving, eating, thinking etc.  For the body to repair itself, the level of activity must slow down which typically happens when we are asleep. During sleep only the basic functions of the body are on – like the heart beat, blood circulation, etc.  Other processes like digestion, thoughts, etc slow down during this time.  During a restful sleep cycle our system gets needed deceleration to repair itself and be ready for the next day.

Consciously winding down and ceasing all mental activity before bedtime as in switching off all electronics 30 minutes prior to bedtime, turning off lights and unnecessary sound to reduce mind stimulation, deep breathing exercises, etc are essential to prepare the body and mind to gradually drift into deep and restful sleep.  It is the quality of restful sleep that determines how alert, lively, and active one feels upon waking up.  Yoga is a time-tested method to induce relaxation, one that lasts through the day.  However, if one is unable to make the time for daily yoga practice, then guided sleep meditations help soothe the mind, relax the body and can improve sleep quality.

The benefits of good sleep are great incentives for making that time and the effort to fall into peaceful slumber.

1)  Improves memory and focus.

2)  Enhanced productivity and motivation throughout the day.

3)  Lowers risk of early onset of chronic diseases like diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure etc.

4)  Reduces stress levels due to being more rested.

5)  Improves immune system function.

6)  Improves the mood and enhances feelings of joy.

Compromising on sleep routinely is not worth it. Restful sleep is the gateway to good health and to a full and active life.  If you are among those who crave deep restful sleep, try this guided sleep meditation.

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