There are plenty of reasons why it’s hard to fall asleep at night. There’s the stress of the job, an overly packed schedule, too much caffeine late in the day (damn you, deadlines!), a pup hogging the bed—you name it. To make matters worse, unfortunately there’s no magic solution that’s instantly going to make you doze off the second you close your eyes, but one sleep therapist does have a method—with a solid track record, BTW!—that’s worthy of adding to your sleep arsenal.
Meditation has been long-proven to not only help you ditch the anxiety and worries keeping you up at night, but also to prepare your body for sleep, putting you into a fully relaxed state. While there are different types, London-based physiologist and sleep therapist Nerina Ramlakhan, PhD, swears by “acceptance meditation” for quality shut-eye, which she says has perks beyond just waking up totally refreshed and energized. “Being hard on yourself stops you from letting go. It stops you from feeling at ease and accepting rest and deep sleep. Practicing loving self-acceptance is an important step toward a good night’s sleep,” she writes in The Little Book of Sleep.
So, how exactly do you achieve self-acceptable—especially past your bedtime? According to the Daily Mail, Ramlakhan has a five-step ritual that can help wind down in a loving way and reach “sattvic” sleep, which restores, heals, and realigns your body on both a mental and physical level. The next time you’re having trouble dozing off, try this easy—and ultra-relaxing!—technique.
Can’t sleep? Try Nerina Ramlakhan’s 5-step sleep-inducing meditation.
1. Lie down on your bed and relax. Enjoy the sensation of being supported, the smell and feel of your bed linen.
2. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath.
3. Bring your attention to your feet, saying: “I love my right foot. I love my toes. I love my right instep. I love my right ankle. I love the top of my right foot. I love my left foot.”
4. Continue to work your way up your body, acknowledging your love for every part of you.
5. Be sure to say this meditation very slowly and very gently, as if you’re speaking to baby. There’s no rush. And, if you fall asleep and then awaken, start all over again from your feet.
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