I have never been a good sleeper. Even when I was a kid, I had horrific nightmares and would wake up frequently throughout the night. Sleep and I were just not good friends. Thankfully, now I use meditation for sleep and I sleep deeply every night, and I wake up refreshed instead of tired.
A Rough Start to Meditating
I started meditating about ten years ago. At first, I didn’t think I was very good at it. I would sit there, and my mind would race, and I didn’t like thinking about my breath, it made me nervous. I tried various mindful techniques and found that guided meditations like Calm Meditation worked best for me. There are dozens of great meditation apps out there; the ones that work for me might not work for you. The longer I worked at meditating, the better I got. I can now fully relax during a session and focusing on my breath calms me down into a very deep, relaxed state.
Daily Calm, Deepak Chopra and Insight Timer are My Favorites
I like the Daily Calm Meditation because it is quick, simple and helps me to slow down my mind before the day charges me up, and I start racing around to get everything done. Lately, I have also been doing a Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation program for personal empowerment. I find this to be very helpful, as well. Additionally, I have embarked on an 8-week healing meditation on Insight Timer with a great teacher David Ji.
I amped up my meditation practice a few weeks ago when I was super stressed and not feeling good. Three times a day is usually perfect, but sometimes I even need more than that. Meditation helps me in so many ways. I stay focused better, I stay calmer and less reactive, and I am more often present in the moment instead of worrying about the future or regretful of the past. One thing I have noticed is that I stay detached when I hear negative ego comments inside of my head. I can dismiss them more easily and separate the real me from these fearful thoughts and feelings.
The Best Side Effect to Lots of Meditation
The best side effect of all this meditating is that I sleep. I have never slept more than 2-3 hours before waking up and then struggling to get back to sleep again. Now I sleep 5-7 hours and maybe wake up once to use the bathroom. My sleep is deep, and my dreams are more peaceful and often helpful with solutions to problems I have been thinking about throughout the day. My dreams sometimes even help me see old trauma and issues that I need to work on and clear out before moving onto something new.
Waking up restful and refreshed every day is a gift. I cannot express how amazing it is just to be able to sleep well. It’s been so long that I have gotten used to restless nights that sleeping all night without interruption feels like a vacation. It helps in all areas of my life.
If you have trouble sleeping, I highly recommend meditation. Calm Meditation has some really great programs for sleep and special calming music and stories. Check it out!