The Benefits of Meditating Before Bed and How To Do It Correctly - Step To Health

The Benefits of Meditating Before Bed and How To Do It Correctly

Meditating before bed is a good alternative for those who suffer from insomnia or feel that their sleep isn't restful. Learn the benefits and how to do it here.
The Benefits of Meditating Before Bed and How To Do It Correctly

Last update: 05 December, 2021

Meditating before bed brings many benefits, especially for people who have difficulty falling asleep. Likewise, those who sleep without problems can also manage to rest better this way.

There are millions of people in the world who are unable to sleep well. This is due to the accumulated stress of everyday life. Sometimes, it takes them a long time to fall asleep, and sometimes they wake up at night or wake up in the morning with a feeling of fatigue.

Well, meditating before going to sleep can be a very effective alternative. If practiced regularly and properly, it’s better than any pill or an expensive mattress. In addition, it also has an impact on your mood the next day.

Meditating before bed

The feeling of restfulness that comes after a good night’s sleep is not because your brain has been quiet during the night—quite the contrary. While you sleep, your brain is hard at work putting things back in order.

During sleep, your brain repairs neurons, creates new connections, and fixes relevant memories. Also, the deeper you sleep, the less cortisol, the stress hormone, is secreted. And that’s not to mention 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 is at risk.

However, you might be wondering whether meditating before bed helps improve sleep patterns. The resounding answer is yes. A large study conducted in 2020 corroborates this.

Other research had already established that daytime meditation alone boosts sleep quality. In turn, meditating before bed helps reduce physical pain and stress, because it reduces the activity of the hypothalamus.

Cerebro que trabaja mientras dormimos.
The brain uses moments of rest to work on itself. That’s why getting high quality rest is so important.

The benefits of meditating before bed

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

Meditating before bed calms the body

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

It calms the mind

Commonly, you may not be able to fall asleep because your mind is still very active before you go to sleep. This is because there are pockets of stress that keep the brain on alert.

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

It improves your mindfulness and melatonin production 

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

On the other hand, some research has suggested that meditating before going to sleep favors the production of melatonin. This hormone is essential for normal sleep cycles.

How to practice meditation

There are several techniques to meditate before going to sleep. Here, we’re going to share a basic, but complete procedure. Take note of the following steps.

1. Set the stage

First, it would be best if you made the conscious decision to go to sleep. Once you do, reduce the light in the room and turn off all the on screens.

If you like, add lavender essential oil to your pillow or inhale 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. Meditating before bed: Mindful body scan

Lie down in a position that’s comfortable for you and focus on your breathing.

Then, focus your attention on the areas of your body that are in contact with the bed. From there, starting from the tips of your toes to your head, run your mind over your entire body.

If you want to relax further, tense each part as you run over it for 5 seconds. Then, relax that area and move on to the next.

3. Conscious breathing

While you do all of the above, ideally, try to breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling slowly.

To get into a more restful state, the best thing to do now is to start breathing by inhaling through your nose and holding your breath for 5 seconds. Then, exhale through your mouth while counting to 5.

4. Use visualization

Fix your mind on a scene that brings you peace. In other words, you should paint a landscape with nature, water, and elements that soothe you in your mind.

Meanwhile, keep breathing deeply.

Other tools for meditating before bed

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

  • Counting: Mentally count from 1 to 10 and then back again, from 10 to 1. This helps you to fix your mind on a single point.
  • Reviewing the day: Checking everything you have done during the day from an invisible list is a good way to switch off the routine before the body scan and breathing. However, don’t dwell on any one memory for more than 20 seconds.
  • Gratitude journaling: Meditating before bed is an exercise that can start with making a gratitude journal. Before you go to bed, write down everything you’re grateful for from your day.
Diario de gratitud antes de dormir.
Writing your gratitude journal before bed doesn’t have to be an extra activation, so ideally, keep it handy on your bedside table.

Final tips and recommendations for meditating before bed

Keep in mind that meditating before bed will feel a little strange at first. You may not fall asleep right away, and it may take you a while to learn how to do it. You may not also see the effects instantly.

Usually, after a couple of weeks, your meditation routine won’t take more than 15 minutes. However, some people may still take half an hour or more.

It’s a good idea to maintain basic sleep hygiene measures, such as not drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol at least two hours before bedtime. It would also be best if you get some exercise during the day and don’t eat a large dinner.

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

Finaly, if, after a couple of months of meditating before going to sleep, you still can’t fall asleep or get a good night’s rest, it’s best to consult your doctor. You may need more specialized treatment.

It might interest you...
8 Healthy Foods that are Trending in 2021
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
8 Healthy Foods that are Trending in 2021

Recently, everyone has started looking for ways to carry out a balanced diet. Today, we'll share 8 healthy foods that are trending in 2021.

  • Rusch, H. L., Rosario, M., Levison, L. M., Olivera, A., Livingston, W. S., Wu, T., & Gill, J. M. (2019). The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1445(1), 5–16.
  • Black, D. S., O’Reilly, G. A., Olmstead, R., Breen, E. C., & Irwin, M. R. (2015). Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA internal medicine, 175(4), 494–501.
  • Anthony P. Zanesco, Brandon G. King, Katherine A. MacLean, Clifford D. Saron. Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 2018; DOI: 10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1.
  • Ricard, M. y Singer, W. (2021). Cerebro y meditación: Diálogo entre el budismo y las neurociencias. Editorial Kairós.