Your General How-To-Guide To Sleep Meditation
We all have an idea of what meditation is. And you’ll know even more about by reading one of our posts, simply hit this link:
But sleep meditation? Is this a thing? Well, you’d be surprised to know that it is.
First, let’s look at a rundown of Different Forms Of Sleep Meditation
1. Guided Meditation
This type of sleep meditation suggests that you are brought to this state with the help of a “guide”, a teacher or an instructor of the practice. You could be in a yoga or meditation class, or simply be listening to a yogi give you a set of instructions through your headphones (aka streaming it online).
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Very much opposite to what most might think, Mindfulness Meditation isn’t about “releasing” or “letting go” of your thoughts. It’s actually the opposite. Similarly, it is letting your mind be aware of everything going on inside and outside of your body, from the way you breathe to how your skin is rested on the surface you’re on. It’s letting yourself be fully aware of the present moment.
3. Concentration Meditation
Simply put, Concentration Meditation is the practice of concentrating your attention to a single object. Our minds are often bombarded with a task after task, worry after worry, emotion after emotion. By focusing on one thing and very literally on that one thing alone, you will be able to uplift yourself and be on a positive and calm mindset.
Sleep Vs. Sleep Meditation
Let’s first define what sleep is. We know that you know what sleep is. We’re only defining it here to make sure you’ll be able to immediately see what the difference is between sleep and sleep meditation. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as such: “the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored”
On the other hand, Sleep Meditation, is still having that relaxed bodily condition while your consciousness is complete awake and aware. This is not an oxymoron, we promise. Also known as “Yodic Sleep”, sleep meditation allows the physical body to be calm while the mind is centered and able to perform according to will.
Unlike regular sleep, Sleep Meditation requires some form of work from your part. Don’t be afraid of the word “work”, though. Likewise, all we mean is that you’ll have to follow a few steps to get there.
General How To’s For Sleep Meditation:
1. Start With The “Where” Of Lying Down
It might not be a good idea to do this on your bed. Remember, you’re not trying to get yourself to actually sleep. Lay down a yoga mat, some bed sheets or thick blankets you can pile neatly one on top of the other. With your back flat against the ground (and the mat or sheets in between the floor and your back), rest your arms right at the sides of your body.
2. Let’s Review One Of The Meditative Breathing Techniques
Through this link, you’ll see our compilation of breathing techniques, one of which is called Pranayama or “nostril breathing”. In simpler terms, all you’ll need to do is close off one nostril with your thumb, inhale through the open nostril, hold in for 5 to 8 seconds, and exhale through the same hole. Repeat this for about 10 to 15 times. More, if you’re willing to go the extra mile.
3. Get “Visualizing”
At this point, do not, and we mean, do not fall into the trap of going through your tasks of the day, or that thing at work you’re having trouble with, the latest movie you’ve seen, you get the drift. Empty your thoughts of these and visualize yourself being in a peaceful place.
4. Notice. Yup, Notice
Notice the way you’re breathing, how your body fills up with hair and how it exhales it. Now, start from the bottom up. Yup, from the bottom, even if you’re lying down. By bottom, we mean start with the very end part of your body— your toes. Furthermore, bring attention from starting with your pinky to your big toe and work upward to your calves, the back of your knees and your knees, all the way until you reach the top of your head.
5. Practice. Period.
In a nutshell, Sleep Meditation will get you to that feeling of relaxation and calm you usually have during actual sleep, but with you being fully awake at the same time. Pretty incredible, huh?