If you’ve ever experienced insomnia or suffered from a lack of sleep for an extended period of time, you know how much of a negative impact it can have on your work life, relationships, and personal health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to a third of adults in the U.S. experience sleep issues such as difficulty falling and staying asleep, and one in ten are said to experience insomnia regularly.
But there's hope! If you're looking for some relief when it’s time to hit the pillow, try this 6-minute meditation to prepare you, in both body and mind, for a full night's rest.
6-Minute Meditation for Better Sleep
Find a comfortable seat on the bed or in a chair and place one hand on the belly the other on the chest. For an added dose of relaxation: place a few drops of lavender oil on your palms and rub them together. Close the eyes and start to focus on a meditative breath through the nose inhaling for 7 seconds, hold breath for 4 seconds, exhaling for 7 seconds. Repeat this cycle 5 to 10 times. When you inhale feel the belly expand and rise into your hand, and when you exhale, feel your chest fall away toward the back of your heart. Bring awareness to this action and the sound of your breath so you can disconnect from the inner dialog that's keeping you up at night.
After about 3 minutes, shift positions and lie down on the bed with your butt against the headboard, legs up the wall and let the blood begin to circulate down. Stay here at least 60 seconds. Loosen your jaw, let go of tension, and close your eyes. Don’t worry about anything but your ability to breathe. Whatever thoughts wander in, see if you can just let them show up without any judgment or attachment.
For the last few minutes, come to lay on your back with a pillow propped under your knees. Arms are alongside the body, palms facing up, gaze is inward. As you settle in, feel the sensation of your body getting lighter and lighter. Close your mouth and inhale through the nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale through your mouth for 8 counts. Repeat the sequence 3 times.
If you find you’re unable to relax, try repeating this mantra silently: “I release the day and welcome tomorrow with excitement and curiosity.”
When we give our bodies the proper time to rest and digest, we create space for new opportunity and positive growth to organically form.
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