You have just gone to bed, you would like to sleep and instead you can't sleep. You toss and turn in bed, think, ruminate on problems and stay awake. But it can also happen that you manage to fall asleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night without being able to sleep anymore. What to do in these cases? Help comes from meditation. In fact, as demonstrated by scientific studies, relaxation techniques that include the visualization of pleasant images can help counteract insomnia and nocturnal awakenings and, if you happen to wake up during the night, allow you to fall asleep without problems (Fiorentino et al, J Clin Psychol, 2012).
Sleep disorders are common
Sleep disorders are a common condition and are estimated to affect up to 25% of the world's population. These disturbances can concern both difficulty falling asleep when going to bed but also nocturnal awakenings with consequent insomnia. Sleep is an essential part of our life. During sleep, in fact, our body regenerates and the brain cleans itself of toxins, memories and information learned during the day are consolidated and emotions are regulated (Worley et al, PT, 2018). Conversely, continuously disturbed sleep can lead to anxiety and irritability during the day, poor attention and concentration and, over time, obesity and heart problems (Rusch et al, Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2019).
Remedies for good sleep
Several scientific studies have been dedicated to understanding what can be done to improve the quality of sleep. We too have dedicated several articles to the tools at our disposal that help us have a good restful sleep. Keeping the room where you sleep cool and dark is a first step, just as, when you wake up at night, it is good to avoid turning on the lights to the maximum because this would be the signal that the brain interprets as the end of sleep and the beginning of the state of wakefulness (Gooley et al, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2011). Not only that, some essential oils, such as lavender, promote falling asleep and it is also important to avoid, in the evening, consuming too heavy and spicy meals, drinking drinks containing caffeine and exercising before going to sleep. Even meditation and the visualization of pleasant images and landscapes are considered a valid aid in case of insomnia and nocturnal awakenings, allowing the mind to detach itself from obsessive thoughts, calm down and fall asleep without problems (Finogenow et al, Psychoterapia, 2017 - Fiorentino et al. al, J Clin Psychol, 2012).
Sweet dreams meditation to sleep well
Today we will see a meditation, which we have called Sweet dreams, which can be useful in improving the quality of sleep and reducing the time to fall asleep. Meditation is based on the visualization of pleasant landscapes, such as an island lapped by the sea, which relaxes, calms and counteracts obsessive thoughts. You can read the meditation shown below and make it your own, calling it to mind when you need it most. The same guided meditation is also proposed in the form of a video, with the link at the top of this page.
Sweet dreams meditation explained step by step, the relaxing position
You are on your back, bend your knees and bring your feet close to your pelvis. Insert a pillow or other soft thickness under the pelvis so that it is higher than the heart. This position promotes relaxation. The hands are placed on the belly. If you find it more comfortable, you can drop your knees outward. Close your eyes, breathe.
Sweet dreams meditation explained step by step, the visualization
Imagine an island, bordered by a very white sand that fades into the intense blue sea. You are walking on sand. With every step you can feel yourself sinking slightly as you walk along the seashore. Every now and then, a wave laps at your feet and then retreats. A pleasant breeze, which smells of the sea, caresses your face while you hear the rhythmic, slow and reassuring sound of the waves breaking on the beach. The sea sparkles in front of you. The mangroves skim the water, your gaze follows their gnarled roots that overlap. Birdsong draws your attention to the interior of the island. Here the beach gives way to lush nature, where palm trees and bushes reach towards the blue sky. You walk towards the interior of the island, among the vegetation that brushes against your legs. With your hands you can touch the surface of the leaves throbbing with life. your gaze is captured by a flower that peeks out from the hollow of a large trunk. You approach, the petals of the flower are fleshy, white and mottled with pink. You notice that around you clusters of flowers cascade from the branches of the trees. You smell the fragrant air. You can now hear the bubbling of a small waterfall. You see it and you approach it. The waterfall flows into a small lake at your feet. You enter the water, which is warm and very pleasant. Blades of light make their way through the branches of the trees and play on the surface of the lake, creating brilliant patterns. You immerse yourself and let yourself float. The water envelops and cradles you, you feel light and safe.
Sweet dreams meditation explained step by step, relaxation
You can return your attention to your room, you are in your bed. Stretch your legs out in front of you and let your arms fall to your sides. You can remove the pillow. You can feel a warmth inside you that envelops you and soothes you. Your eyes are closed and you are breathing.