Meditating helps me sleep better.
Sometimes I have a lot on my mind, and can’t fall asleep. I’m tired, but I can’t get into that sleepy feeling. When I’m like this, I meditate.
I usually start by paying attention to my breathing. I don’t even sit up sometimes, just stay lying on my back, and focus on my breaths. In, out.
Sometimes I control my breaths, taking in as much air as possible through my nose, letting my chest open, and slowly hissing it out through my lips. Other times I just let myself breathe normally, and simply focus on the breath as it leaves me.
When I’m really distracted and lose focus on my breathing, I count my breaths on my fingers. I like to go up to thirty, a number I got from the Wim Hoff method in a Tim Ferriss podcast.
But yesterday I went to one hundred, because I was extra awake.
If there are a lot of thoughts swimming around in my head, I’ll start to say the word “Thinking” every time one of them fills my head. Then I’ll let the thought pass. Saying “Thinking”, either out loud or quietly or just in my mind, is a good way to label the thought as a thought. It lets me release the thought and whatever feelings are attached.
Sometimes meditation starts with a game of Tetris. Or reading some of my fiction novel. It’s like warm up exercises before getting into the breathing and thought processing.
The best warm up, and sometimes I don’t even need the breathing and counting when I do this, is journaling. Getting some important thoughts down on paper, reflecting on the day, and writing it out in pen.
It really helps to see things leave my head and stay somewhere else. It’s like therapy. When I’m feeling like I got nothing done, it’s good to see things on paper that I did.
I find that I’m better rested after sleep following meditation. I heard somewhere that when we have a lot on our mind, the first part of sleep is just used by the brain to process it all. So once that’s done, the brain starts to really rest, which doesn’t leave enough time for the resting part.
I couldn’t find the source of that, but here’s something of substance. It’s a study that showed mindfulness meditation significantly helped people with insomnia, fatigue, and depression by improving their measured sleep quality.
To powerful living,