The BIG Sleep : How to Enjoy the Best Rest of Your Life
The average person sleeps for 25 years of their life. Sleep plays a massive role in our quality of life and even the quantity of time we are alive. A lack of sleep has been linked with weight gain, heart disease and strokes, depression, reduced concentration, productivity and other mental, emotional and physical issues that any clear-minded person would rather avoid - if given the choice.
Good sleep has been found to improve the immune system, reduce inflammation within the body, make us inclined to eat better, encourage a positive mindset and allow us to perform at our best during work and play. It's therefore vitally important if you are experiencing insomnia or waking up tired - irrespective of how many hours of sleep you get - that you are proactive in experiencing the best rest and sleep patterns possible.
STRUGGLING TO SLEEP
In the past if I wasn’t tired or couldn’t get to sleep, I would lie awake worrying about how tired I would be the next day. Can you relate to this concern? Laying in the darkness of the bedroom I would be left alone with my thoughts and emotions, which always seemed louder, scarier and more intense at night. I would often need to distract myself from my meandering mind by having the television or radio on. Do you do this?
All of this never made for a peaceful entry into the realm of sleep. On the contrary - the stressful thinking, emotional struggle and visual/auditory stimulation was highly counterproductive to my desired goal of getting a good night's sleep. When I did eventually fall asleep, it would take my mind-body more time to access the deepest levels of rest - when the stresses of the day could be released and my body engage its vital healing activities - thus allowing sleep to serve its positive purposes.
GETTING TO SLEEP
So how do I get to sleep these days? With the deep knowing that my body and mind gain a massive amount of rest from meditation, I get into bed, turn the light off and start meditating. Sometimes I fall asleep super quick, sometimes if my mind happens to be busier then I meditate to be at peace with any thoughts/emotions happening, and some nights I have an amazingly clear and calm meditation.
Irrespective of what happens, knowing meditation gives my mind and body amazing rest has liberated me from worrying about how fast I’m getting to sleep or if I'm having enough hours. In short, instead of counting sheep, worrying, avoiding feelings or needing to rely on external distractions, I invite you to meditate your way into the best night's rest.
BETTER QUALITY SLEEP
Using meditation as you fall asleep at night can help you enter sleep at a deeper level and experience a better quality of rest. Personally, I used to need my 8+ hours of sleep every night or I would end up exhausted or sick. However, these days I meditate throughout the day with my eyes open (which helps to maintain a relaxed and low-stress physiological and psychological state), and I also meditate as I fall asleep at night (which helps me enter sleep in a more calm state).
With this powerful combination I find that I don’t need as many hours as I used to in order to feel full of energy the next day. This saves time and helps me get more done during the day, provides my mind and body with the quality rest it needs to function and be well, and has had an unexpected benefit of improving my relationship with sleep. If I sleep - great. If I get a few hours of meditation done - which is also proven to provide rest and healing to my mind and body - great!