“Also, I could finally sleep. And this was the real gift, because when you cannot sleep, you cannot get yourself out of the ditch–there’s not a chance.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
You’ve gone to bed an hour ago but you haven’t slept a wink. Your mind is busily planning what you have to accomplish the next day, working out some difficulty from the day, or making future plans that are way too far off to make it an important task after midnight. You shouldn’t have had that last cup of coffee, eaten that chocolate, scrolled through the news on your phone. Sound like a common scenario?
Tonight, try a meditation for sleep instead of trying to force yourself to beat the glaring alarm clock.
How to do a meditation for sleep:
- First remove all distractions to your sleep. Put away your phone and tablet so that you are not tempted to use them. Turn your alarm clock around so that you do not see the time but can hear the alarm in the morning.
- Look up with your eyes. When you eyes strain, they relax.
- Hold your exhale for a few seconds and then let go. While you breathe in and out, imagine that each thought of the day is being blown away with your exhale.
- Imagine yourself in a visualization. Picture yourself mindfully walking down a set of stairs or a hill while counting down from 100. Imagine yourself exploring a new environment – checking out the rooms, opening the cupboards, and discovering new hallways.
- When thoughts creep in to your visualization, blow them away again. It happens. We’re all human. Take a deep breath and start again on your visualization.
If visualization is difficult for you in your meditation practice, check out the many guided meditations offered for free on the internet (such as this Blissful Deep Relaxation). Just remember to keep your phone or tablet at a distance so that light does not interrupt your practice.