Man laying on yoga mat, yoga nidra

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

A nutritious diet, regular exercise and sleep — all are components of a healthy life. And meditation can help you get the sleep you need.

It prompts the parasympathetic nervous system into “rest and digest” mode. It lowers the blood pressure, produces fewer stress hormones, and tells the limbic, or emotional, brain to shut down the “fight or flight” response.

Try this simple meditation practice for improved sleep:

  • Find a comfortable position laying down and gently allow your eyes to shut.
  • Breathe in through your nostrils and slightly hold your breath, then release it through your nostrils or mouth. Do this for a few breaths as you start to feel your body relax.
  • Do a brief scan of your body and see if there is any place that you are holding tension, such as the neck, shoulders, head, back or stomach.
  • Focus on the area. Calmly and kindly let the tension know it is free to release itself and move out of your body through the bottom of your feet.
  • Continue until you feel the tension lifting.
  • Keep breathing.
  • As thoughts come to mind, acknowledge them and let them pass.
  • Take in a few more breaths through your nostrils and tell yourself you are ready to have a calm and peaceful night’s sleep.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Yoga Nidra (Yoga for Sleep) Classes. Enjoy a session of guided meditation and mind-body therapy done in a comfortable lying down position to systemically reduce stress, increase circulation, and promote better sleep. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.