Breath Your Way to Better Sleep
What would you say if I were to tell you that there is a free and effective way to help you get a better night’s sleep? No prescription is needed, and its side effects are reduced stress, anxiety control, and even happiness. It seems unfathomable, but it isn’t. Just sit back, take a deep breath in and exhale on an “Ohm.” That’s right. We’re talking about meditation. And if you just thought, “I can’t do that,” then meditation is EXACTLY what you need.
Since practicing meditation myself, I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. It isn’t easy to quiet the mind, but then I realized that a clear mind is not what meditation is all about. It’s about recognizing the thoughts that come, acknowledging them, and then letting them go to concentrate on the breath. Rest assured, another thought will appear. Just recognize it, let it go, and move on to the next breath. It really is that easy.
Sitting and focusing on one’s breath may seem silly, but the data is in. Meditation improves anxiety levels by 60%, and it can lower blood pressure 80% of the time. When it comes to sleep, meditation is a healthy and effective remedy as it relieves the symptoms of insomnia by 75% and reduces wake time by 50%.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin. There are a ton of apps to help you get started. Check out Insight Timer and Headspace. You can search for guided meditations for sleep, anxiety, forgiveness, and so much more. Only have 5 minutes? No problem. You can also filter the length of each session.
Don’t think you have to be on top of a mountain with an hour to spare to get the positive benefits of meditation. Start slow, and soon you will discover that you’re calmer, more focused, and sleeping through the night. Those are some amazing benefits for a free moment to yourself and your breath.