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|The Basics of Sleep Meditation||| Print ||
Are you having trouble sleeping? Is your mind so active that even when you do fall asleep you are still restless and do not sleep deeply? There are a lot of theories and estimations about how much sleep a person needs, but it varies based on health, activity and circumstances. Nevertheless, it is a fact that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep is, the more rested we feel the next morning.
Sleep meditation is a type of meditation that helps you relax your mind and frees it of stress that results to a more peaceful and deep sleep. There are many methods of sleep meditation, but you may want to follow these steps first before performing sleep meditation to prepare your body and promote a deeper and more restful sleep.
Calm Down Before Sleep Meditation
Prior to going to bed, start to slow down. Stop strenuous mental activity; write down what you need to do the next day and leave the list in the other room. These would allow you to clear your mind and let the energy start combining to get what you want done accomplished before you begin the sleep meditation. If there are other concerns that are on your mind, turn it over to a higher unemployed power that needs the activity for the night. Feel complete about the day, and acknowledge what you have achieved and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that upsets you and list five things you are thankful for. For the time being, devote the next hours to peaceful, unoccupied sleep.
Eating Habits Prior to Sleep Meditation
Eat no less than two and a half hours before you go to bed. Eating right before going to sleep gets your body tied up with digestion, making it difficult to sleep deeply. Be aware of what you eat, no animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Easily digested dishes are ideal for the evening meal and will prepare your body for the sleep meditation, and avoid dairy products because they make it difficult to get up the next day.
Perform the Left Nostril Breathing Before Sleep Meditation
The two nostrils are related to two different energies. We are energized and stimulated when we breathe in through the right nostril, and when we breathe through the left we relax and settle down. Usually after every two and a half hours, our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils. After eating, our nostrils will switch to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest food, which is the reason why we feel sleepy after eating. The dominant nostril is the nostril that is easiest to breathe through when you obstruct the other nostril. It is helpful before going to bed, to sit quietly and block off the right nostril and breathe long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to four or less breaths per minute can ease sleep.
Bedtime or Sleep Meditation # Shabad Kriya
If you practice this sleep meditation on a habitual basis, once a week or even every night, your sleep would be deep and relaxed. The control of the rhythm of the breath strengthens the nervous system and rejuvenates nerves. After a few months of practicing this sleep meditation, the rhythm of your breath will be subconsciously regulated and in time you would internally chant the mantra and hear it in your daily activities. It is a good meditation to recover from the daily fatigue caused by normal daily stress travel and possibly jet lag.
Sit in Easy Pose with an erect spine. Hands should be in the lap, palms up, right hand resting on top of left and the thumbs touch and face forward.
Focus the eyes at the tip of the nose with the eyes about 90 percent closed. There are several ways to help make it easier to look at the tip of your nose. One is to bring your forefinger in front of your face and look at it. Keep looking at the forefinger and gradually bring the forefinger to the tip of the nose. To aid the concentration at the tip of the nose, do the following exercise. Hold your arms out to your sides parallel to the ground, palms up. Perform breath of fire for one to three minutes. This exercise balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which makes it easier to uphold the focus of the two eyes. Focusing the eye at the tip of the nose allows the optic nerves to cross at the third eye; it is easier to bring your mental focus to the third eye while the eyes are focused at the tip of the nose. Both the pineal and the pituitary glands and the area between them are stimulated by this eye position, which has the effect of breaking old habits and creating new ones.
BREATHING AND MANTRA
Inhale four equal parts through the nose, dividing it into 4 breaths. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA with the four parts of the inhalation. Hold the breath and mentally repeat four reiterations of SA TA NA MA. Perform 16 counts SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA then exhale in two equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU WAHE GURU, which means ecstasy. WAHE GURU is the result of integrating SAT NAM into the consciousness. When we experience the Truth, we experience ecstasy.
Persist for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation would frequently put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.
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