Sleep is the antidote to illness, yet many of us don’t get enough of it. Whether it is due to stress, chronic fatigue, or an anxiety overload, insomnia can rob us of our health and wellbeing.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night, the following meditation will help you get the rest you need. Taking all the steps necessary to combat insomnia won’t just help you; it will help those around you, too. Rest is best for everyone.
Practice this guided imagery meditation for a few minutes in bed each night, for a total of seven nights. Use it as a tool to retrain your mind and body to let go of stress at the end of the day. After a week’s time, it will be much easier to fall asleep, and stay asleep throughout the night.
Settle into a comfortable position in your bed. Take five deep breaths. During each exhale, silently repeat the mantra, “Sleep comes easy now.”
Next, scan your body with your mind’s eye beginning at the top of your head, continuing all the way down to your toes. As you scan your body, allow your eyelids, skin, and muscles to feel heavy. During this phase, let your breath be soft and natural.
If you come across areas of tension in your body, silently repeat a mantra on an exhale to relax each tense body part. For example, if your jaw is tense, take a deep breath in, then say to yourself as you exhale, “My jaw is heavy.” Repeat until you feel relaxation wash away tension.
Now, with your eyes closed and your awareness turned inward, notice the effect of gravity on your entire body. Invite the Earth’s pull to deepen the heaviness you are feeling. Let this heaviness settle into your bones.
Continue with your deep breaths by silently repeating the mantra, “My bones are heavy,” for the next 10 exhale cycles. As you count your exhales, start with the number 10 and count all the way down to one.
Imagine your bones are being pulled all the way down to the Earth. Allow your bones to feel so heavy, that it requires little or no effort to relax the muscles around them. Let yourself drift into a deep state of relaxation.
After a week of practice, notice mental tensions diminishing as your body recalls its innate state of deep relaxation. Now, every time you retire for the evening, your mind and body will be conditioned and ready to settle into a deep sleep.