Waking up tired after a bad night’s sleep is a terrible way to start your day. It takes more cups of coffee than usual to clear the groggy feeling, and you can’t think straight. The effects of sleeplessness or insomnia dramatically affect or physical and mental health. If left untreated, a consistent lack of sleep will begin to deteriorate cognitive function and reduce metabolic function.
Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter sleep aids are beneficial at providing a temporary solution to the problem of insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, these compounds are not meant to be used for more than a few days or weeks as they can create dependency.
Improving your sleep hygiene is the most effective means of restoring a healthy sleep-wake cycle. The circadian rhythm is the body’s natural system of governing when it’s time to go to sleep and when you need to wake up.
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine where you have a hot bath, drink some chamomile tea, and put on a sleep mask will help you fall asleep faster. However, if you still struggle to fall asleep, you may need to consider your state of mind and how it affects your sleep quality.
Delta Sleep – What is It?
This phase of sleep is the most restorative stage where brain waves slow to their minimum frequency. Delta sleep is challenging to achieve. More than 90-percent of American adults fail to induce the delta sleep phase.
The majority of adults in the United States only experience an alpha-state of sleep. This brainwave state is adequate to provide therapeutic value to our sleeping hours. However, the difference between the delta and alpha states is dramatic. People that enter a delta state receive a much higher therapeutic value from their rest.
Meditation – The Key to Delta Sleep.
Studies show that people who meditate before bedtime have a higher chance of achieving delta sleep. Many people may consider meditating before bed as a redundant strategy. However, meditation primes your mind for the sleep session and calms the brain, making it more receptive to entering the delta wave state.
Meditating before bed will help you fall asleep faster. It’s also a good practice for people that have insomnia. Meditation soothes the mind and quiets the chatter that keeps your mind active while you’re trying to fall asleep.
Moving Meditation –Yoga and Tai Chi Chuan
Meditation connects the body and mind. Practicing Yoga or Tai Chi Chuan before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster. The poses and movements in these physical practices improve concentration and induce a “Zen State.”
Zen is a mental state where the mind becomes “empty.” In this empty-mind phase, thinking reduces to focusing on breathing and physiological response.
During Zen, you forget about your troubles and anxiety. Therefore, Yoga and Tai Chi offer a moving form of meditation that has the same therapeutic value as traditional meditation.
The Ultimate Meditation Sleep Strategy
The following meditation strategy will make an excellent addition to your sleep hygiene program. 90-minutes before you retire to bed, light some incense in a room. Go through 6 to 8-yoga poses and focus on your breathing during the stretch.
Try to clear your mind and achieve the “Zen State,” during each stretch. Forget about the troubles and worries of the day and empty your thoughts.
After completing your yoga poses (this should take anywhere between 20 to 30-minutes,) sit in the lotus position with your legs crossed. Place your hands on your knees with the palms upward, with index finger touching your thumb. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
Empty your mind of any thoughts and stare off into the blackness. Set your phone alarm for 10-minutes. Draw a hot bath after your meditation session and relax with some chamomile tea.
You’ find it easy to drop off to sleep and you may even induce the delta state.