Sleep Better With Ten Percent Happier’s Guided Meditation for Sleep

A person sleeping in their bed
Soothe Anxiety to Sleep - Sleep Meditation - 30 minutes
by Matthew Hepburn

Struggling to Sleep? How Meditation for Sleep Can Help

If you’re reading this article under the covers at 1 a.m…you’re not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than 100 million Americans report that they don’t get an adequate amount of sleep (that’s almost 1 in 3 of us). Whether it's the occasional restless night or a more persistent battle with insomnia, a bad night of sleep can ruin your entire day. After tossing and turning, you can find yourself irritable and feel like your brain is foggy. Sleeplessness can even lead to an overall decline in your physical health.

However, there's a natural and effective solution: nighttime meditation. This practice has been shown to improve sleep quality significantly, helping you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. By reducing stress and calming the mind, meditation aids in transitioning to a state conducive to better and more restful sleep, fostering a healthier and happier lifestyle.

What Kind of Meditation is Good for Sleep?

Meditation comes in many forms, but not all are equally suited for promoting sleep. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques stand out for their effectiveness in preparing the body and mind for rest.

Mindfulness meditation focuses on being present and aware. Why does paying focused attention to your mind improve your sleep? Well, in becoming more aware of your mind (and body), you can better understand what’s causing you stress in your life and conversely, what’s bringing you ease and comfort. Second—and maybe more importantly—mindfulness cultivates an attitude of acceptance toward any situation, including sleeplessness or insomnia.

Learning to accept the reality of what’s going on right now (”Yep, I’m still awake, even though I have that long drive tomorrow”) can help you break free of a loop of worry or self-judgment (”Why does this always happen to me? What if it never gets better?”). Ironically, when you accept what’s happening, you’re much more able to relax.

You can also target relaxation specifically during nighttime guided meditation. Relaxation techniques guide your body into a state of deep relaxation, essential for quality sleep. These practices are effective because they address the root causes of sleeplessness – anxiety and an overactive mind.

What is Guided Sleep Meditation?

Guided sleep meditation is a structured form of meditation where a teacher leads you through a series of relaxing visualizations or instructions. It’s particularly beneficial for beginners because it provides a clear direction, helping to maintain focus and avoid distractions. Guided meditation is essential for those new to meditation, providing you with an accessible entry point to the practice (and to better sleep).

Guided sleep meditation practices can take many forms, but here at Ten Percent Happier, we’ve found a few key steps that help you drift off. We’ll invite you to get comfortable in whatever space you’re in, connect with your breath however works best for you, and then begin to let go of your thoughts of the day, bringing yourself to the present moment.

Does Meditating Right Before Bed Help You Get Better Sleep?

Meditating before bed has been shown to positively affect sleep quality in multiple research trials. It helps in creating a peaceful mindset and preparing the body for rest. Numerous studies support the benefits of meditation in enhancing the depth and duration of sleep, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, and minimizing middle-of-the-night awakenings.

Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body relax and prepare for sleep. It also reduces the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, promoting a more relaxed state. Regular meditation practitioners often report improved sleep patterns, including a decrease in the time it takes to fall asleep and an increase in sleep quality.

The practice of meditation before bedtime can instill a sense of calm and routine, vital for good sleep hygiene.

Does Meditating Right Before Bed Help You Get Better Sleep?

Ten Percent Happier offers many guided sleep meditations to help you ease into sleep in our app. These sessions, crafted by our experienced meditation teachers, are designed to calm the mind and relax the body. Whether you prefer a short meditation to unwind after a long day or a longer session to ease into a deep sleep, we have options to suit your needs. You can access these meditations here on our website and soon, on our YouTube channel for greater convenience.

Allowing your body to relax - Guided Mindful Body Scanning Meditation - 10 minutes
Judson Brewer

Meditate with more free guided meditations in the Ten Percent Happier app from these teachers  and many more. If you’re looking for more free meditations on the web, be sure to check out our collections of free meditations online.

How Regular Mindfulness Meditation Can Help You Sleep Better and Live Better

Adopting a regular mindfulness meditation practice can have profound effects on your sleep and overall well-being. Consistent meditation helps in managing stress, improving emotional regulation, and enhancing self-awareness. These benefits extend beyond just a good night’s sleep, impacting various aspects of life, including work performance, relationships, and general health.

Tips for building a consistent meditation habit include starting with short, manageable sessions, creating a comfortable meditation space, and incorporating meditation into your daily routine. (Try “piggybacking” or “habit stacking” with activities you already do - like brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed.)

Try the Meditation App That Welcomes "Bad Meditators"

The journey to a more mindful life is filled with starts, stops, success and stumbles. It’s easy for meditation to become just another thing on your to-do list that you feel guilty for skipping.

We encourage you to find a practice that’s “daily-ish” and find motivation from joy rather than shame. After all - we don’t meditate to get better at meditation, we meditate to show up more fully in our daily lives (so that we can actually rest at nighttime).

The Ten Percent Happier app is designed to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone, regardless of their meditation experience. It’s particularly encouraging for those who might consider themselves “bad meditators.”

Whether you prefer a skill-building course or a supportive meditation, inside our app, you’ll discover meditation that meets you where you are.

Our app features a variety of guided meditations, expert insights, and practical tips to make meditation accessible and enjoyable. With content tailored for different skill levels and interests, the app offers a supportive community and resources for all.

Discover more about our app and its features on our App Membership page or download the app now by tapping the buttons below.

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