Many of us struggle with sleep issues. Sometimes problems with sleep can be caused by serious underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, kidney disease, heartburn, mental health issues, neurological disorders, thyroid disease or respiratory problems.
However, more often than not, people struggle with sleep due to less serious factors such as daily life stresses, not enough exercise, too much caffeine, poor sleep hygiene or a combination of all the above.
Incorporating meditation into your evening or bedtime routine can be a simple way to help you fall asleep easier and improve the quality of your sleep.
How meditation can help you sleep
Meditation increases something called your ‘relaxation response’. The relaxation response is a deep physiological and psychological shift within your mind and body that allows you to let go of stress and therefore relax.
Stress, even mild stress can have a seriously negative impact on not just your ability to fall asleep, but the quality and duration of the sleep you do have.
With the regular pressure of jobs, finance, families, and relationships, it’s difficult to escape stress in day to day life. However, by regularly practicing meditation you can not only relieve stress temporarily, but over time your relaxation reflexes will become better and better, making it easier to de-stress before bed, fall asleep quicker.
The top guided sleep meditations
On my journey to discover more about better sleep and sleep hygiene for Really Wellness, I received many incredible recommendations for sleep meditations, each as soothing as the next.
When it comes to finding wellness, it’s important to find the practices that work for you as an individual, through experimentation. So, to help you find your ideal way of getting a good night’s sleep these are a few of the best sleep meditations recommended:
Jason Stephenson, Floating Amongst the Stars
Jason Stephenson is a seasoned meditation expert, with hundreds of videos and resources online to help you achieve a more relaxed state before bed. This sleep meditation, ‘floating amongst the stars’ was the most popular amongst many of the people I spoke to about sleep.
Perfect to listen to as you are dozing off, this guided sleep meditation takes you on a beautiful and ethereal journey through space, bound to relax and put anyone straight to sleep
Headspace is one of the popular meditation apps out there and after trying one of their sleep meditations I am fully an advocate. However, as with any form of wellness, before you take the jump and commit to paying, it’s worth trying a free taster to see if their meditations work for you.
Headspace offers a beautiful free guided sleep meditation or ‘sleep casts’ on their YouTube that takes you on a beautiful stroll along a secluded shoreline and straight into the depths of deep sleep.
If you are not sure about meditation or haven’t tried it yet, listening to Gaba is a surefire way to fall in love with this practice! Gaba is a free podcast that provides an array of magical and exquisitely poetic mediations. Although none of these are strictly for sleep, they will certainly help you relax and find a space of calm to drift off into sleep.
I highly recommend their ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ meditation on staying peaceful during the pandemic or ‘Perfect’ a meditation on perfect imperfection re-imagined as an Angela Carter style dark fairy tale.
Shout out to the exceptional Amber Jean Rowan, founder of Hair Free Life for sending this one my way!
The Honest Guys
The Honest Guys are meditation gurus, who offer some of the best guided meditations out there whether you want to sleep better or just to find a moment of calm in your day to day life.
Their ‘Pure Deep Relaxation’ guided sleep meditation was another hugely popular recommendation amongst everyone, expert or otherwise I spoke to about sleep meditation. This softly spoken meditation gently lulls you to sleep through a journey to find inner calm.
Kim Carmen Walsh
For some reason, many of the top recommended sleep mediations out there are voiced by the dulcet deep tones of men. However, if you’d rather have the soft energy and cadence of a female voice, Kim Carmen Walsh’s guided sleep meditations are perfect for you!
A qualified hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, Kim knows just how to set your mind at ease and help you let go of fear and anxiety. Her ‘Guided Sleep Meditation for Sleep and Relaxation’ is the perfect remedy for a good night’s sleep.
The Mindful Movement
The Mindful Movement is a community and a space for everyone to learn about mindfulness, and the ability for self healing. They offer so many wonderful resources for people interested in growing wellbeing in their lives and their sleep meditation was one of my favourite recommendations!
Prepare for a deep and healing night’s sleep with this gentle stress reducing and self-healing meditation.
Relax for a While
Relax for a While specialises in sleep meditation and beautiful bed time stories to help you de-stress and unwind before a restful night’s sleep.
Their guided meditation for a deep and blissful sleep comes highly recommended and is sure to help your mind and body soften and relax by surrounding you with a sense of warm positivity as you fall gently asleep.
Glen Harold is a qualified hypnotherapist and yet another incredible meditation pro. His hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness techniques combine to create the perfect remedy for a good night’s sleep.
His ‘Relax Well and Sleep Meditation’ will send you sailing soundly into a beautiful deep sleep, leaving you well rested and relaxed when you wake up.
Yoga with Adriene
The exceptional Adriene Mishler of Yoga With Adriene, is someone I have come across time and time again in my health and wellness journey. An incredible yoga teacher and guru to many across the world, Adriene, also offers deeply calming meditations which although not strictly for sleep can definitely be a good way to relieve stress and get a better night’s rest.
I wholeheartedly recommend her meditation for anxiety as a starting point, to help you rid yourself of worry and fear before bedtime.