According to Julia Hogan, LCPC, “The amount of sleep you get and the quality of that sleep can actually affect your physical and mental health in ways you don’t anticipate.” Getting quality sleep is a necessity for us to achieve a healthy mind and body. The average adult would need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to function correctly and be in their best state.
However, most people have trouble getting a good night’s rest, putting them at risk of sleep deficiency and deprivation. If this is a frequent problem for you, then maybe it’s time you try meditating.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation involves directing the mind to a particular state of awareness to get a healthier sense of perspective. In this state, the individual becomes more mindful and relaxed when engaging in the present circumstance. For many, meditation is a spiritual practice to transform the mind in a way that it develops emotional clarity. But it can do more than clearing your head. This process can be useful in reducing health risks and is proven to improve the quality of life. In an article of Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC she said, “To improve your spiritual health, it can help to create a quiet space for solitude and contemplation or a place of curiosity and playfulness. Maintaining a playful, curious attitude can help you find experiences that offer hope, purpose, and meaning.”
Effects Of Meditation
By making meditation a habit, you can rest more comfortably and get the hours of rest that you need. “Mind resting usually doesn’t mean to have no thoughts, but to slow down thoughts and give each thought less meaning. Resting is going into the body and allowing things to be as they are.” explains Andrea F. Polard, PsyD. Meditating before bed can cause you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for more extended periods. Since your body becomes relaxed and your muscles are less tense, your sleep tends to be less interrupted as well.
Apart from improving the quality of sleep, meditation has other effects on your body. Your levels of stress that may contribute to depression and anxiety are effectively lowered down. Furthermore, your body can be less at risk of chronic illness, high blood pressure, and heart diseases. Your immune system gets more robust, and your tolerance for pain increases. Moreover, meditation slows down your aging process and boosts your brain’s performance.
Aside from the physical effects, your overall mental sharpness drastically improves. This aspect includes heightened functions relating to your memory, attention, learning capacity, and decision-making skills. You become more present in the current situation and focus appropriately on the tasks so that you can work efficiently. In a way, you do become more intelligent, especially with more brain volume and brainpower.
Finally, your emotional health gets uplifted as well. The clarity and lightness that you feel after meditating also affect your outlook in life. It puts you in a more positive state of mind and a brighter mood and gives you a sense of well-being. You are not only inspired to take care of yourself, but you also become more compassionate to people around you.
Meditation Before Sleeping
Meditation before sleep can either be guided or unguided. The choice depends on your preference and what you are most comfortable doing.
Guided meditation means you have a teacher or an app that walks you through the whole procedure. While doing so, your guide will give you step-by-step instructions and the proper techniques in performing them. It is best suited for beginners so that they could get the most out of the process.
On the other hand, unguided meditations allow you to be in control of your time and pace. You do the process alone, without any guidance. Unguided meditation can be better because you are not dependent on any tools. You can train yourself not to be distracted.
Regardless of your choice in technique, it is a great habit to meditate regularly. You can also practice this during other times in the day to improve your health. Remember: it doesn’t take much to make yourself feel ten times better.