Does Meditation Help You Sleep?
By: Design for Change Recovery
There’s no coincidence as to why people tell you to slow down and take deep, long breaths when you feel anxious and upset. They want you to get your breathing down to a relaxed pace and turn your focus toward your breath instead of whatever it is that is inspiring you to come undone. Returning yourself to the breath is an immediate source of healing. Once you “catch your breath,” you find you really are calmer. Your mind starts to slow down. Your body systematically relaxes. The more you continue breathing and focus on the sensations happening in your breath and throughout your body, the more you can recognize everything is okay. Often, people start to feel a bit tired. After being hyped up, tense, and on edge, the return to relaxation is calming, meditative, and sleep-inducing. Meditation helps you sleep because it helps the mind sort itself out by focusing on the breath. Sending oxygen throughout the brain and the body, meditation induces relaxation while eliminating pre-sleep stress.
Meditation isn’t medication.
Sleeping medications are commonly prescribed in early recovery to ensure that patients get the sleep they need to make the most out of their days in treatment. Ongoing symptoms of cravings and withdrawals can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. As a result, patients are irritable, restless, and discontent, all of which can make cravings or obsessive thoughts about using worse. Sleep medication is a wary treatment for recovery. Many sleep medications are addicting and habit forming. There is much opportunity for abuse. Rather than take sleep medications beyond their necessity, meditation provides a clean and healthy practice to prepare for sleep.
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Meditation can be sleep focused.
Meditation doesn’t have to be anyone’s thing. Different disciplines of meditation focus on different parts of meditation differently. At the core, meditation focuses on the breath and letting thoughts go by without paying too much attention to them or judging them. Meditation can be sleep focused, directing the mind toward visualizations about sleep, waking up after a good night of sleep, and using subtle mantras to make the mind very, very sleepy.
Holistic health considers the entirety of a person. For recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, everything about an individual must be examined, not just their drinking and drug use. Design For Change combines holistic health practices with evidence-based treatment methods to help patients realize they can recover because they are capable of change. For information on our residential treatment programs, treatment options, and recovery services, call us today.