Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety - Yoga Practice Blog

Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety

challenges of meditation practice

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Meditation for sleep is a type of mindfulness meditation. It is a form of relaxation that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation for sleep can also help to reduce anxiety and improve your overall sleep quality. To practice meditation for sleep, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe in and out slowly and evenly. If your mind wanders, simply redirect your focus back to your breath.


How Does It Work?

Meditation can work for sleep and anxiety in a number of ways. First, it can help to focus the mind on something calming, such as the breath. This can help to clear away any intrusive thoughts that may be keeping you awake or causing you anxiety. Additionally, meditation can help to train the mind to become more aware of its surroundings and better able to focus on the present moment. This can help to prevent rumination about past events or worry about future events, both of which can interfere with sleep or cause anxiety.


The Puzzle of Healthy Sleep

There are a lot of different opinions out there about what constitutes healthy sleep. Some people believe that you need to sleep for eight hours straight in order to be well-rested, while others claim that broken up sleep is just as good. The truth is, there isn’t necessarily one right answer. Everyone’s sleep needs are different, and what works for one person might not work for another. However, there are a few general guidelines that most experts agree on.


Sleep Requirements

First, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep overall. Adults typically need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night, although some people may need more or less. Secondly, it’s important to have a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day, even on weekends. Finally, it’s important to create a relaxing sleep environment. This means keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool, and avoiding screens (including phones, laptops, and TVs) before bedtime.


Pacing Your Breath as You Fall Asleep

One simple way to ease into sleep is by focusing on your breath and gradually slowing it down. This can be done by counting each inhale and exhale, or simply paying attention to the rise and fall of your stomach. As you become more relaxed, your breathing will naturally slow down on its own. If your mind starts to wander, simply bring your focus back to your breath. The goal is not to force yourself to stop thinking, but rather to let go of any thoughts that are causing anxiety or keeping you awake.



Silent mantra is a form of meditation that can be used to help you fall asleep and reduce anxiety. To practice silent mantra, you simply repeat a mantra silently to yourself as you fall asleep. This can help to clear your mind and allow you to focus on the mantra instead of your thoughts. Research has shown that silent mantra can be effective in reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality.



Practicing positive affirmations as you fall asleep can help improve your sleep quality and reduce anxiety. When you focus on positive statements about yourself, it can help to quiet the negative thoughts that may be running through your head. This can lead to a more restful night’s sleep and less anxiety during the day. Try repeating affirmations such as “I am safe,” “I am loved,” or “I am in control.”


Body Scan

Body scanning is a simple but effective meditation technique that can help you fall asleep and ease anxiety. To do a body scan, lie down in a comfortable position and focus your attention on each part of your body in turn, starting with your toes and working up to your head. As you focus on each part of your body, notice any tension or discomfort and breathe into it, then let it go. If your mind wanders, simply bring your attention back to your breath and start again.


Deep Relaxation

As you fall asleep, it is important to practice deep relaxation. This can be done by focusing on your breath and letting go of any thoughts or worries that are on your mind. If you find that you are still thinking about things that are stressing you out, try counting backwards from 10 to 1. With each number, focus on letting go of the stress and tension in your body. By the time you reach 1, you should be feeling calm and relaxed.


Final Thoughts

One way to deal with sleep and anxiety is through meditation. When you can’t sleep, get up and do something calming, like reading or stretching. Don’t try to force yourself to sleep; that will only make it harder. If you’re feeling anxious, try to focus on your breath and let go of the thoughts that are causing you anxiety.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Challenges of Meditation Practice

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

There are many styles of meditation, and all of them offer physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. If meditation practice makes us happier and healthier, why is it so difficult for us to do? We are all trying to find a quiet place in the midst of our fast paced lives, but we resist sitting quietly even for brief periods of time.



Although many people find that meditation has a calming effect that helps with sleep and anxiety, the practice itself can be challenging. For some, sitting still for even a short period of time is difficult. It can be helpful to start with just a few minutes of meditation and gradually increase the time. Once you’re able to sit still, the next challenge is clearing your mind. Thoughts will inevitably come into your head, but you need to focus on your breath and let the thoughts pass. With practice, you’ll be able to quiet your mind and enjoy the benefits of meditation.


Feeling Overwhelmed

Although it is difficult to silence the thoughts racing through our heads, it is important to remember that the mind is just doing its job. When we panic and feel overwhelmed because we are trying to resist thoughts, we are creating the opposite effect – one of frustration and powerlessness. On the other hand, accepting that thoughts are normal and letting them pass without dwelling on them is the key to a peaceful mind. It also helps to focus on breathing.


More Than One Path

Another challenge is having expectations about what the experience of meditation is supposed to be or thinking there is a “right” way to do it. Not only is every person different, but every meditation session is different, as well. Becoming discouraged or giving up because we fail to follow someone else’s rules or advice can dampen enthusiasm and hinder progress.


Straight Spine

Most meditation and Yoga teachers recommend sitting with an erect spine while meditating, but comfort is essential in order to avoid distractions. Sitting upright with feet on the floor and the back comfortably supported may be the best posture for learning the practice.


Overactive Mind

Restlessness is another hindrance to a successful meditation practice. Especially for beginners, the body needs some time to slow down and relax. Beating ourselves up because we cannot sit still or maintain a particular posture only makes the process more difficult. We can, however, feel the sensations without struggling to stop them, and they will eventually pass.


Negative Emotions

When our minds, and bodies, manage to slow down, pent-up feelings sometimes arise unexpectedly. Often these are negative emotions being released as our defenses are lowered. If we are able to feel them and allow them to flow through our bodies without analyzing them, they will usually diminish within a few minutes. If a repressed memory surfaces, it may be wise to discuss it with a counselor.



Meditation has entered the mainstream culture, bringing with it an abundance of information that can seem both helpful and contradictory. If we stop worrying about whether we are meditating correctly and listen to our bodies, each of us will know what is working, while we learn what needs to be changed. After all, the goal is to benefit from a meditation practice that actually works.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

7 thoughts on “Meditation for Sleep and Anxiety”

  1. Most meditation and Yoga teachers recommend sitting with an erect spine while meditating, but comfort is essential in order to avoid distractions. Thanks for sharing this informative about meditation for sleep.

  2. Although it is difficult to silence the thoughts racing through our heads, it is important to remember that the mind is just doing its job. Nice posting about meditation for sleep.

  3. i love this article on meditation! makes so much sense, love how easy it is to understand your points and the videos…very informative! thank you!!!!

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