Guided sleep meditation is one of the best ways to improve sleep quality, maintain a slim figure, and optimize your overall health and quality of life.
If you’ve never tried guided sleep meditation, now is the time, especially if you’re isolated, stressed, anxious, or overweight.
This relaxation technique offers numerous physical and psychological health benefits.
Knowing how to get started and ways to complete guided sleep meditation properly can change your life!
What is Guided Sleep Meditation?
Getting a good night’s sleep is more important than you may think.
Studies show that sleep deprivation can alter hormone levels, contribute to weight gain, increase your risk of diseases, and diminish cognitive functioning.
Guided sleep meditation helps you relax and fall asleep.
It can relieve stress, anxiety, and even depression in some cases.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, consider trying this unique relaxation method.
Guided sleep meditation uses comforting music, relaxing or inspirational words, stories, or even comforting sounds you can listen to while you fall asleep.
Benefits of Guided Sleep Meditation
Guided sleep meditation can offer you numerous physical and psychological health benefits.
Better Cognitive Functioning
Research shows that sleep deprivation is associated with poor cognitive functioning, which is problematic for work, school, parenting, and other everyday tasks.
Guided sleep meditation can improve sleep quality, mental functioning throughout the day, and your overall health and quality of life.
It helps you wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy.
A Lower Risk of Accidents
Getting a good night's sleep is crucial to optimize functioning in the workplace and at home, as daytime sleepiness increases your risk of automobile crashes, falls, and other accidents.
Sleep deficiency is problematic if you make important decisions at work, operate heavy machinery or vehicles, or you work as a healthcare professional or first responder.
Reduced Chronic Disease Risks
Guided sleep meditation can indirectly reduce chronic disease risks, as studies show adequate sleep reduces your risk of numerous diseases and their risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, certain cancers, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend adults get about 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep in each might to optimize health and reduce the risk of medical problems.
Less Stress and Anxiety
Guided sleep meditation is a well-known stress reliever and an anxiety reducer.
If you feel stressed or anxious about your job, interpersonal relationships, money, isolation, or other problems you're facing, guided sleep meditation might be the solution for you.
It may even help you avoid taking certain medications commonly used for anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.
Decreases in Depression
Depression is a common mental health disorder, affecting nearly 1 in 12 adults in the U.S.
Chronic sadness can affect sleeping patterns, causing you to sleep too much or too little.
Guided sleep meditation and better sleep quality can boost your mood, improving your overall mental health and well-being.
A Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
Whether sleep deprivation, stress, depression, or anxiety increases your appetite or daily calorie intake, emotional eating is problematic.
It can lead to unwanted weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
Getting too little sleep or suffering from chronic stress can alter the hormones in your body responsible for appetite control.
This can result in emotional eating and increases in hunger.
Studies show that chronic sleep deprivation (less than 7 hours per night) is linked with higher body mass indexes (BMIs) and an increased risk of obesity.
Guided sleep meditation helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, and it will help to make healthy weight maintenance easier.
How Can I Begin Guided Sleep Meditation?
The best way to get started with guided sleep meditation is to shop around for apps that match your needs and preferences or try free guided sleep meditation videos online.
Examples of meditation apps that can relax you and boost sleep quality include:
- 10% Happier
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- Breethe: Meditation & Sleep
- Meditation & Relaxation Pro
- Simple Habit
- Sleep Cycle
Experiment with multiple sleep meditation apps or stick with a favorite one that works, and listen to it after you lie down in bed each night.
Focus on the relaxing sounds, music, or words used during meditation to fall asleep faster and sleep deeply.
Make sure your bedroom is a cool, calm, quiet environment and lay in a comfortable position in your bed.
Put other thoughts, stressors, fear, and worry aside and focus on meditation.
The program you choose might include soothing stories or words, relaxing music, restful sounds, or even white noise.
Get into the right mindset and focus on what you hear.
Think relaxing thoughts and focus on taking slow, deep breaths to clear your head.
Additional Stress-Relieving Strategies
Besides using guided sleep meditation apps or other forms of meditation, try additional stress-relieving strategies to relax you and reduce worry, fear, or anger:
Studies show that spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to reduce stress and improve overall health and wellness.
It can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and improve your mood.
Spending time outside might be as simple as taking your dog for a walk, doing yard work, playing outside with your kids, or relaxing outdoors while reading a good book.
Avoid active activities or exercise right before bed, however.
Massage is an excellent way to relax that not only feels good, but it can also reduce chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and depression.
See a massage therapist regularly for stress-relieving massages, or recruit a family member to massage your head, neck, shoulders, back, or feet as tension commonly affects these areas.
Consider Yoga, Tai Chi, or Walking
Yoga, tai chi, and walking are calorie-burning activities often effective for stress relief and healthy weight maintenance.
Make time for these activities or other forms of regular exercise (at least 30 minutes daily) as a way to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety naturally.
Change up your workout routine often to prevent boredom and optimize strength, aerobic endurance, and flexibility.
Do Something You Enjoy Every Day
Find something you enjoy and make time each day to do it.
You might like to read, watch a movie, catch up with friends, do puzzles, cook, bake, take a relaxing bath, or even take naps.
Set aside time each day to do the things you love, de-stress, and enjoy life to its fullest!
Recruit friends or family members to join you!
Get in Touch with Your Spirituality
Studies show that spirituality helps overcome stress, anxiety, and depression.
Your spiritual beliefs can help you cope with uncomfortable thoughts or fears.
Connect up with other people who share the same spiritual beliefs as you do.
Additional Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Stress relief is just one way to optimize sleep and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Consider the following tips and tricks to help you fall and stay asleep without interruption:
Sleep in a Cool, Dark, Quiet Room
Make sure your bedroom is in a cool, dark, and quiet environment.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting your room temperature at 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve optimal sleep.
Keep your room dark by using blinds, shades, or curtains.
If you're a light sleeper, consider a white noise machine. Doing so helps block out outside sounds and keeps you in a deep sleep as long as possible.
Set a Regular Bedtime
Develop a regular bedtime routine to keep your body clock in check.
Set a regular bedtime based on your lifestyle and preferences, and stick with it.
Go to bed at the same time each night whenever possible, and allow yourself at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep if you can.
If this isn't possible, schedule in naps throughout the day to ensure your body gets the sleep it needs to function properly.
Exercise, But Not Late at Night
Regular exercise can optimize sleep quality but avoid late-night workouts.
Set aside time to exercise in the morning, afternoon, or even in the evening as long as it's not right before bed.
Do something relaxing and low key before you head to bed and begin guided sleep meditation for a better night's sleep.
Avoid Screen Time Before Bed
Right before you lie down for bed isn't the time to view television screens, computer screens, phones, tablets, or other electronic devices that emit blue light.
Studies show that blue light exposure in the evening suppresses melatonin, which can reduce sleep quality.
Instead, try taking a warm shower or bath, getting a massage, or reading a book before beginning your nightly guided sleep meditation routine.
Don't Go to Bed Hungry or Very Full
You might notice that going to bed on an empty stomach or trying to sleep after overeating makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Avoid sweets, other forms of added sugar, and caffeinated drinks.
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Smoking before Bed
You probably already know that caffeine before bed can keep you awake and/or disrupt a good night's sleep.
Avoid coffee, tea, soda, and other caffeinated beverages late in the day.
Additionally, steer clear of alcohol right before bed whenever possible.
While drinking alcohol can make you drowsy and help you fall asleep, the National Sleep Foundation notes that alcohol appears to diminish sleep quality and can cause unnecessary trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Studies show that smoking is also associated with poor sleep quality and sleep disruptions.
If you're a smoker, consider quitting to get a better night's sleep and reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic health problems.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is linked with poor sleep for several reasons.
Sleep deprivation may contribute to obesity because of hormone fluctuations and increases in hunger.
Furthermore, obesity appears to increase your risk of sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders.
Maintaining an ideal weight with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and other healthy habits is the best way to optimize sleep quality and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Meditation and Weight Loss
In addition to using guided sleep meditation to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, consider a few other weight loss tips to get or stay slim.
- Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other fiber-rich foods
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day
- Keep your body moving 45 additional minutes every day
- Track food intake using a journal or food-tracking app
- Weigh yourself every day
- Fill your plate 1/2 with non-starchy veggies, 1/4th with protein foods, and 1/4th with fiber-rich starches
- Join an organized weight loss program
Stay busy to avoid eating because of boredom, stress, anxiety, or depression.
Avoid sitting down in the same spot for more than an hour.
Get up and move around to keep your metabolism going strong.
Create a meal plan for yourself and only eat during certain times of the day.
Allow yourself three small meals and two to three small snacks daily.
Consider replacing one or two meals with a weight loss protein shake or protein bar to help you feel full with fewer calories.
Losing weight without support or guidance is challenging, but with help from health experts, you can increase your chance of weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
And, don't forget to incorporate guided sleep meditation or other relaxation techniques into your everyday routine!
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on guided sleep meditation.