Yoga Nidra guided sleep meditation against insomnia
How to deal with insomnia? Frustrated with Lack of Sleep? Sometimes Yoga Nidra, a form of guided sleep meditation, can clear the mind before bed to help you fall asleep.
Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) is an ancient meditation technique that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. Yoga Nidra can create a receptive mind while relieving stress and tension. As a result, the technique is also a very effective method of treating insomnia.
Help with insomnia
If insomnia or trouble sleeping is affecting your life, talk to your GP. Sleep disorders are very treatable – sometimes simply by making lifestyle changes.
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How To Do Yoga Nidra At Home
- Check your comfort. Lie down in a comfortable position. Relax the jaw and facial muscles. Is the room temperature suitable for sleeping? Are there folds of clothing or bedding underneath you that are causing discomfort? Is your hair pulled tight under your head? Be picky.
- Start with breath awareness. Meditation experts agree that breath awareness is the easiest and fastest way to calm the mind. Take three deep breaths – three long times to relax the nervous system. Then let your breath find its own rhythm. Follow the natural breath from your nose to your navel and back a few times. Notice the abdomen and lungs as they rise and fall.
- Mentally check every part of the body. Start with your right thumb. Visualize and mentally repeat “right thumb, second finger, third finger” etc. Continue to mentally recite body parts as awareness moves the arm up to the shoulder. Go to the left and do the same. Take awareness in the back of your head and scan the back of your head down. Then move forward. Hopefully sleep will come before it gets all the way through. If not, do it again. When the mind wanders, return to breath awareness and start the body scan again.
There is no wrong way to do this, and it doesn’t have to be done in that order. Yoga Nidra is a healthy way to keep the mind busy so it doesn’t have time to worry about other things.
You may find this guided sleep meditation useful when you first go to bed or when you fall asleep again in the middle of the night.
Tami Sue Combs is a yoga and meditation teacher at the Norton Cancer Institute.