Introduction to Various Meditations: Sleep Induction

in meditation •  last year 

It can be very tough to get a good night of sleep. There's so much to keep us busy, and once it's time to sleep it's usually the case that there's more to do, more things to worry about, or there hasn't been a chance to wind down and prepare to rest. Finding quality sleep is one of the toughest habits to follow!

After climbing into bed, however, the imagination can be easier to access because there are less distractions. This is a rare time when closing your eyes can be done intentionally and without guilt, and during this time the imagination can finally free itself from modern constraints. Sometimes this sudden freedom for the imagination keeps people up, because it finally has a chance to flex itself after a busy day. When this isn't embraced, a restless imagination can result in many worries and frustrations- you may dread the following day if you don't finally fall asleep, or you may worry about things that weren't resolved from the day. The trick is to use the imagination to instead guide you towards sleep rather than letting it worry you about the past and future.

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This meditation is a simple induction that will help with finding a deeper state of sleep, and it's very easy to achieve.

An induction is meant to engage your senses as a route to a meditative state. The following induction is a very effective route towards a restful state preceding deep sleep.

While in bed, after closing your eyes, imagine laying on the beach next to the surf. You are on the sand, and small waves are lapping onto the shore.

Focus on the feeling of the sand giving way to your body, your body slowly sinking into the sand, and you eventually become covered with a layer of sand. You hands, feet, arms, legs, and eventually waist and torso become heavy with the sand. Your eyes become weighed shut by sand. Everything becomes covered, dark, and weighed down while the shore becomes more and more submerged under sand and water.

That's all- this meditation simply involves using your imagination to feel a sense of darkness, slowness, and weight. Your imagination will help you slow your mental gears down through this meditation. The sensual effect of the waves will also help calm you, and you can imagine the water washing away any worries that creep into your thoughts.

It can also be useful to introduce further calming elements to your senses through the image you build during this induction. For instance, you might imagine the sun warming the sand that is slowly weighing you down, or the white sound of the waves slowly overpowering your hearing. Put yourself in a scene that you would enjoy!

Previous Introductions to Various Meditations:
Why Practice Meditation?
Body Scan
Dark Night of the Soul
Walking Power-Breath
Exposure to Fear

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Sounds like a great technique to help you go to sleep! I'll give it a try tonight. I've been concentrating on my breath when going to sleep, which helps quite well too most of the time.