Learn about the benefits of meditating before sleeping and how to do it correctly

There is scientific evidence that meditating before sleep helps solve insomnia problems. In addition, it helps reduce anxiety and improves mood.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on November 29, 2021.

Last update: November 29, 2021

Meditating before sleeping brings many benefits, especially for people who have difficulty falling asleep. Likewise, those who sleep without problem also get better rest.

There are millions of people in the world who cannot fully rest. This is due to the stress accumulated on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes they are slow to fall asleep and other times they wake up at night or wake up in the morning feeling tired.

Well, meditating before sleeping can be a very effective alternative. If the practice is done regularly and properly, it turns out to be better than any pill or an expensive mattress. What’s more, also affects the good mood during the next day.

Meditation before sleep

The feeling of rest that arises after having a good night’s sleep is not due to the brain having been still overnight. Quite the opposite. While you sleep, your brain works hard to put things in order.

During sleep, your brain repairs neurons, creates new connections, and fixes relevant memories.. Likewise, the deeper you sleep, the lower the secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone. This without counting the benefits for the immune system and the slowing of aging.

The point is, if you don’t sleep well, your physical and mental health are put at risk. The question would be whether meditating before sleep helps improve sleep patterns. The blunt answer is yes. An extensive study carried out in 2020 confirms this.

In fact, other research had already established that daytime meditation, by itself, raises the quality of sleep. In turn, meditating before bed helps reduce physical pain and stress. Apparently, because it reduces the activity of the hypothalamus.

The brain takes advantage of moments of rest to work on itself, you could say.

The benefits of meditating before sleeping

Meditating before sleeping helps to create the internal conditions necessary for there to be a true rest. Scientific evidence indicates that this practice helps calm the body and mind. In addition, it generates important physiological changes.

Calms the body

Meditation helps to generate same physiological effects that occur in the early stages of sleep. The heartbeat slows down. Even in some people, blood pressure is also reduced.

Calm the mind

It is common that you cannot fall asleep because the mind is very active before going to sleep. This is because there are stress reductions that keep the brain in a state of alert.

Meditating before sleeping makes the mind focus on one thing and not skipping from one thought to another. This, in turn, helps reduce intrusive thoughts and promotes mental relaxation.

Attention and melatonin

Other research has indicated that meditating before bed, or at any other time of the day, increases attention and concentration. This contributes to getting a better rest, to the extent that focusing makes the mind more stable.

On the other hand, there are indications that meditating before bed favors the production of melatonin. This hormone is essential for normal sleep cycles.



How to do the practice of meditation?

There are several techniques for meditating before sleeping. Here we are going to expose a basic, but very complete one. Take note of the following steps.



1. Set the stage

It is important that you make the decision to go to sleep. Once you do, reduce the light in the room and turn off all the screens that are on.

If you like it, aromatize with lavender or breathe in a little of this essence. If you need noise to sleep, start a stream of white noise, rain, or water. Then get into bed.

2. Conscious body scan

Lie in a position that is comfortable for you and focus on your breathing first. Later focus your attention on the areas of the body that are in contact with the bed. Then, starting from the tips of your toes to your head, travel your mind through your entire body.

If you want to relax more, tense each part as you go through it for 5 seconds. Then relax that area and move on to the next one.

3. Conscious breathing

While doing all of the above, Ideally, you should try to breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling slowly. To enter your dreams, the best thing is that now you begin to breathe inhaling through your nose and holding the air for 5 seconds. Then exhale through your mouth for a count of 5.

4. Visualization

Set your mind on a scene that brings you peace. In other words, you must paint in your mind a landscape in which there is nature, water and elements that calm you. Keep breathing deeply.

Other tools

There are other tools that can help you move from wakefulness to sleep. They are as follows:

  • Tell: Mentally count from 1 to 10 and then back from 10 to 1. This helps you fix your mind on one point.
  • Review the day: reviewing everything that has been done during the day is a good way to to turn off routine before body scan and breathing. Don’t linger on any memory for more than 20 seconds.
  • Gratitude Journal: Meditating before bed is an exercise that you can start with keeping a gratitude journal. Before going to bed, write down everything you are grateful for about the day you have lived.
Writing your gratitude journal before bed doesn’t have to mean extra activation, so ideally keep it handy on your bedside table.

Tips and recommendations for meditating before sleeping

You must take into account that meditating before sleeping it will be a little strange at the beginning. You may not fall asleep right away, but it may take a while. It also happens that you don’t see the effects instantly.

Typically, after a couple of weeks, the meditation routine does not take more than 15 minutes. However, some people may still take half an hour or more.

It is convenient that you maintain the basic measures of sleep hygiene, such as not drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages at least 2 hours before bedtime. You should do some exercise during the day and do not eat a large dinner.

There are several guided meditation applications that you can find on the internet. Some of them are free and others are paid.

If after a couple of months of meditating before sleeping you are unable to fall asleep or have a good night’s rest, the best thing is that you consult with the doctor. You may need a more specialized treatment.

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