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Calm Yourself to Sleep with Meditation
Meditation is an effective way to find some peace and reset your racing mind. How does meditating affect your sleep?
Regular meditation helps lower your heart rate and overall stress. It does this by activating our autonomic nervous system, leading to better sleep, stronger digestion, and stronger birthing. Our fast-paced culture tends to shift our nervous system into survival mode far too much. Meditation is a reset that returns our physiology back to its natural state.
The best time to meditate is as part of your morning routine before breakfast. This helps set the tone and rhythm of the entire day. Mini sessions of meditation when you especially feel pressured or a panic attack coming on is another way to implement meditation as it is needed. It is known to improve focus and allow you to think more clearly, so decisions are better made when you are relaxed and calm.
Of course, any meditation is better than no meditation. If a regular schedule time is not feasible, instead use any window of opportunity to meditate, like on your lunch break at work.
Winding down your day is important in preparing to go to bed. Meditation before bedtime could help you sleep more deeply, without waking up in the middle of the night. It also can prevent intense dreams that would make your sleep unpleasant and leave you tired when you wake up.
There are apps like Headspace and Calm to download on your smartphone for guided meditation sessions. They also come with their own soothingly narrated sleep stories to help put your mind at ease.