Meditate Tonight for Better Sleep
By Ryan Flaherty
If you've ever gotten into bed and then tossed and turned for an hour with your mind racing, it's because after a long day of stimulation, you need your body to transition from a sympathetic nervous system state to a parasympathetic nervous system state, which is our resting state. The best way to do that is to wind down before you get in bed, so you're primed and ready for sleep. And one of the best ways to wind down is to spend a few minutes meditating.
The word "meditation" can seem intimidating if you've never done it before, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Meditating could mean prayer, positive affirmations or anything you do routinely before bed to calm your mind. With nearly all of the pro athletes I train, I get them into the habit of meditating before bed. Most meditation apps have sleep-specific programmes that can take you through a full sleep wind-down routine in just five or ten minutes.
If you think you don’t have time to meditate before bed, take the path of least resistance: when you get into bed, instead of scrolling on your phone, just put on one of the guided sleep meditations, lay your head down, and listen. It will still take 10 minutes, but instead of spending that time with your mind racing and your body tossing and turning, you’ll be prepping your system for truly restful sleep.
Download a meditation app right now, so that tonight when you get into bed, you can just press play. Make this part of your nightly routine and you'll find it's much easier to drift off to sleep.