Guided sleep meditation can help you fall asleep and get back to sleep when you wake up in the night. It also helps you relax and clear your mind, which can make the whole process of getting to bed easier.
Different types of deep sleep guided meditation are available, from breathing exercises and body scans to mindfulness-based techniques like gratitude and thankfulness. Some are even hypnosis-based.
Breathing exercises: Our breath and our thoughts are intimately linked, so breathing exercises are a natural way to slow down your body and mind. The breathing meditation practice in the above video, for example, involves slowly noticing the breathing and counting your breaths, a technique that helps your parasympathetic nervous system relax.
Mind-body scan or mindful body scanning: A calming mind-body exercise that systematically notices each part of your body, starting from the top and working down to the tips of your toes, is a good way to relax and prepare for sleep. It can be used when you're feeling anxious or just want to focus on relaxing your body and mind.
Gratitude and thankfulness: A practice of being grateful for all the positive things in your life is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to promote sleep. This guided meditation combines mindful breathing, affirmations and visualization to encourage relaxation, reduce stress, and reprogram your mind for deeper sleep.
The best guided meditations for sleep are easy to follow and usually involve an audio guide. They are also often designed to be used with headphones, so you can shut out distractions and listen at your own pace. Some are also designed to be played in a quiet room so you can set up your meditative space before beginning.