Sometimes sleep can seem so far away at the end of an exhausting, long day. While the comfort of our ridiculously soft sheets lures you into bed, that doesn't mean the mind is ready for rest. When our minds are racing, it's nearly impossible to slow down our thoughts and fully relax at bedtime. Here's where mantras and sleep meditation come into play.
A mantra, or mantra meditation, is loosely defined as an utterance of a group of words that help to induce an altered state of consciousness. Speaking a mantra can help you before catching shuteye and set the foundation for positive thoughts you want to will into existence. Sleep meditation follows a similar principle of welcoming sleep through mindful relaxation. Essentially, the two go hand and hand. According to the Exploration of Consciousness Research Institute (EOC Institute), "this practice works well for those trying to achieve a higher goal by convincing our subconscious minds that we can succeed. Even when our conscious mind doubts our abilities, our subconscious can believe strongly enough for us to succeed." Here are tips and suggestions on how you can make mantras and meditation as part of your nightly routine.
1. Repeat personal mantras
- The moments before you fall asleep are crucial to your brain. You're left alone with your final thoughts before the subconscious mind takes over. This is your chance to give yourself a pep talk. From EOC Institute: "Mantras enhance positive alpha, gamma, delta, and theta brainwaves, the brainwaves that kick in during relaxation." Repeating a mantra will give your mind no time at all to fluctuate so you can focus on what's important to you. Whether you have a mantra in mind or still have no idea what we're talking about, go ahead and try the ones we've listed below.
- Let it be
- I am at peace
- I am still
- I am grateful for time to rest
- I deserve this rest
- Slow down, breathe and release
- My mind is ready for sleep
- I am enough
2. Try to drift into sleep with guided meditation
In this form of meditation, it's likely that someone will lead you to sleep through meditation. According to Medium, "meditation improves the quality of your sleep, as it quells the endless chatter of your mind." With that being said, you can rest your head on a supportive pillow, turn on a tape and let someone coach you through relaxation. However, another part of guided meditation is the form of creating images in your head and finding your happy place. This practice is good for the anxious sleeper and athlete alike. For athletes, thinking of a good game you once had cannot only help you slip into a blissful state but can have a positive reflection on your performance. "Guided meditation and deep relaxation will help you to train your brain to slow down, enjoy life, and accept yourself."
3. Try to breathe deep with mindfulness meditation
This popular form of meditation allows you to focus solely on the body. In an excerpt from Total Wellness Magazine Issue 5, Volume 14, mindfulness meditation "harnesses the innate human capacity for self-awareness and attentiveness. Even stopping what you are doing for a couple of minutes to bring attention to your bodily sensations, breathing, and thought patterns qualify as a valuable act of mindfulness." Take note of your breath, where your mind wonders, or how your toes wiggle. When you begin to become distracted, take the time to be present and still. Repeating the mantras from above can help you in this process. Combined with slow breathing, these practices will work together to ease you into a peaceful slumber.
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