Benefits of meditation on sleep and performance
In the last decade, the practice of meditation has moved into the mainstream. With meditation's growing and more generalised acceptance, there is increasing discussion about the possibility of meditation replacing sleep entirely. To understand the relationship between meditation and sleep fully, we must examine each to determine whether it is possible for meditation to supplant the body's need for sleep.
Many people mistakenly confuse the rest benefits of meditation with those obtained from sleep. Although complementary, they are vastly different. To understand the synergy between sleeping and meditation, we must first understand the differences.
Our bodies require sleep for rejuvenation and repair. During sleep, we release hormones that help us grow, form white blood cells, avoid anaemia, fight disease, strengthen the immune system, maintain proper body weight, produce skin cells and prevent premature ageing.
Meditation, from the perspective of a layperson, is merely a period of altered consciousness when the brain slows down to a relaxed state. Using meditation, a sense of peacefulness, deep physical relaxation, and mental clarity can be experienced in just a fraction of the amount of time required for a nap. Meditation produces a state of spiritual bliss and helps the mind relax, leading to the physical advantages linked with reduced stress.
However, because a meditative state is a state of “mental wakefulness”, it does not help perform the physical repair and rejuvenation related tasks that happen only when the mind is asleep.
Attempting to replace sleep with meditation would eventually lead to memory loss, confusion, high blood pressure, weight gain – even a compromised immune system that leaves one's body vulnerable to illnesses.
Utilized properly, meditation and sleep will complement each other. If you sleep well, you can meditate deeper, and conversely, if you meditate regularly, you can sleep much better. Meditation allows the mind and body to experience more profound sleep and receive rest because the brain prepares the body to submerge into a deep sleep without a period of “cooling down”.
This helps prevent tossing and turning and increases REM sleep, which is critical to maintaining good health and facilitating the growth and rejuvenation of the physical body.
Essential Meditation Techniques to Help Sleep
If you are the victim of sleep disorder and struggle every night to fall asleep then you can practice sleep meditation; a constant and regular practice will surely help you a lot. Sleep meditation is very simple meditations and can be learned instantly. There is a verity of sleep meditations among which among which binaural sleep meditation is the most common one.
Guided meditation: Often our minds forget to stop working when it is time to rest, and this can keep us up when we need to sleep. Several types of meditation can be used. Guided meditation is a method where you listen to a tape and follow instructions for relaxing your body. The narrator of this tape slowly tells the listener how to relax each part of their body while soft music is playing. Sometimes the narrator will instruct the listeners to imagine themselves at a relaxing location.
This could be a beach, shady park or a mountain retreat.
This type of meditation can help the listener fall asleep quickly and help promote sound sleep.
If no tape is available, you can use the same techniques by imagining yourself relaxing each part of your body. Start with your feet and tell them to relax. Move through all parts of your body until you reach your head. You can then think of a quiet relaxing spot and imagine lying in the sand.
Breathing technique: There are breathing techniques that can be used in a meditative state. Breathing in and out slowly while repeating one word is a meditation process that is easily done and effective. Finding a meditation style that works for you and practising it, throughout the day can help you meditate at night.
Meditation can also help relieve stress that can build up during the day and lead to problems sleeping at night. Meditation is the way to produce long-term restful sleep without using drugs or alcohol.
Binaural meditation technique: The technique through which you can relax your binaural beasts is called binaural sleep meditation. These meditation techniques guarantee you a peaceful sleep at night. The scientist had researched on it and found that binaural beats create an excellent effect on our brain waves which gives a beautiful and peaceful state of mind. This state of mind helps the person to fall asleep.
We all know that how important is a full night sleep, as the coming day depends on it. A whole night sleep fills you with energy and liveliness.
So we all can sense the difficulties that come with this sleep fewer nights.
Binaural, beats are two different types of frequencies that run together in our brain at the same time. It is a meditation for sleep. In this meditation technique, a disk is played. The music which is played is calm and relaxing. But the music is played in two different binaural frequencies; one is low whereas the other is high, the left ear with one frequency and the right ear with the other.
Two different hemispheres of the brain are experiencing the different frequencies at a time. When these frequencies line up inside the brain, a new pleasant frequency is formed which raise the brain into a superior state. This excellent state, of mind, is called alpha frequency. In this state, the brain becomes bright and relaxed. This state of mind permits you to fall asleep.
Benefits of Binaural Sleep Meditation:
You will have a pleasant and wonderful sleep every night.
You can wake quickly as your body got the full rest.
You will have an appositive look towards life.
You can experience the energy within you.
You can show your creativity.
You start loving yourself.
Your memory gradually gets improved.
You become calm and relaxed.
The case study of the binaural sleep meditation had shown that one could easily fall asleep within a minute using this meditation technique.
Meditation mind to sleep would help you in many ways. The workload, school and the responsibilities of adult life keeps us under pressure. This pressure leads to tension and frustration resulting sleep fewer nights. But a constant and regular practice will surely help you to get a sound sleep.
If you are the one among many who are suffering from sleep fewer nights and is in want of holy progression, then binaural beast could be a solution. This meditation technique is capable of giving you a considerable positive impact on your life.
Meditation Improves Focus- The very basis of meditation is the focus. Since our thoughts are so randomly scattered all over, it takes beginners a lot of discipline to practice mindful meditation.
No matter what meditation strategy you choose- from concentrating on your breathing to focus on ridding your mind of negative thoughts- focus is the first step towards getting it right. And this interplay between concentration and meditation proves beneficial both ways.
The better you get at focusing on the object of your choice, the better you will get at meditating. And the more you meditate, the better your ability to focus gets.
A study conducted at the University of Washington on a group of people highlights the effect of meditation on focus. The group was divided into three subgroups, where one subgroup was made to undertake an 8 week-long mindful meditation course. All the subgroups were asked to go about their daily task, but the group that underwent meditation training showed a higher level of focus by switching less frequently between daily tasks.
Improves Emotional Health- Mindful meditation helps in emotional healing by letting go of the past. Not only focusing on the present prompts the brain to concentrate on the events of now but it also changes the thoughts in the subconscious mind.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety- Anyone who has uttered suggestions on meditation has bombarded the word stress. In fact, meditation is one of the antidotes of stress.
Improved emotional health enables us to deal with negative emotions in a better way. A person in control of his emotions will seldom exaggerate negative ones.
Another way meditation reduces stress instantly is by making the brain calmer and reducing the adrenaline rush in the body.
And how does this increase productivity? Think of stress as the nagging colleague who drops in at your cubicle whenever they want. They talk for hours, taking up your time and keeping you from doing work. This is how stress works on a mental level- it is a number one productivity killer.
Being equipped to deal with stress better translates into better productivity.
Improves Memory Meditation, as already mentioned, is an exercise for the brain, especially the cerebral cortex. This cortex is responsible for storing facts, learning, and sharp memory, and the more you exercise this outer cortex, the bigger it gets.
It's no secret that memory and brain power can change the face of your career. From improved performance to taking sound decisions on the go, a healthier brain leads to higher productivity and efficiency.
Some easy meditation techniques to boost performance
Easy Breathing Technique
This is the best option for beginners, and breathing-based meditation is simple. One method is to concentrate on your breath and count them up to 100 or go lower if you find 100 an overwhelming number.
Self-Hypnosis videos– These videos are readily available on Youtube and are divided into levels to suit both beginners and practitioners. The video guides you to relax, imagine a positive thought, or simply connect with your inner self.
Sometimes, the video only has audio playing, and at times there are visuals too. Mainly it is beautiful shots and pictures of nature like a waterfall, green trees, and birds that are soothing to the brain and is an excellent relaxation technique when coupled with the audio.
Meditative music offers many physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits. Research reveals that helps in lowering the consumption of toxins since it decreases the respiratory rate, slows the rate of the heart and increases the flow of blood. Furthermore, the music increases the tolerance to exercise by decreasing muscle tension to develop a deeper level of relaxation. It reduces the chances of anxiety attacks by lowering levels of the blood lactate.
The music helps with managing weight by maintaining in loss activities such as aerobics. It also helps in reducing emotional distress and fatigue present in the body.
It is also helpful with the post-operative healing since it reduces stress and anxiety. It is also recommended for reducing premenstrual syndrome discomfort due to its soothing abilities.
Meditate music also helps an individual to reduce excess sweating, and it lowers the risks of the cardiovascular disease & cholesterol levels. This is because of the relaxing words and composition. This is why it is highly recommended for people diagnosed with high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease.
In case you are struggling with the flow of air through the lungs, playing the music can help you to achieve more natural breathing. If you have been diagnosed with headaches and migraines, you can listen to this kind of music to help you relax and reduce the pain.
Music with meditative attributes has been proven to trigger the inactive parts of the brain hence improving the overall brain activity. Therefore, it can be relied upon to enhance performance with athletic events, harmonise the endocrine system and to produce a lasting change in the electric activity of the brain.
For anybody struggling with their self-esteem, the music can be relied upon to building self-confidence and control thoughts. It combines relaxation and encouragement to help you improve your mood. This goes a long way increase the levels of your creativity.
Improved relationships and learning ability & memory have been attributed to the music in many instances. It increases productivity, improves relationships at work and at home, and it also helps in increasing the ability to solve complex problems. Moreover, the music helps in purifying character while developing willpower. It also helps in improving more accurate judgment, reduces aggressiveness, nervous thinking and the inclination to worry.