9 Relaxing Bedtime Meditations To Ease You Into A Peaceful Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping?

You’re not alone — by a longshot. 

According to some estimates, about 50% of people regularly struggle with sleep. 

But there’s a solution.

Nighttime meditation for sleep can work wonders and help you get the restorative shut-eye needed to keep your brain and body functioning optimally. 

How’s it done?

Does it take a long time?

When will I start noticing results?

We’ve got answers.

So get comfortable, and let’s deep dive into the ins and outs of bedtime meditating.

Is It Good To Meditate Before Bed?

Meditating before bed improves your quality of sleep and daytime mood. Better yet, it’s been scientifically proven to work. Why is it so beneficial?

  • Increased Melatonin: Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone. After a day of toiling, when the sun goes down, our bodies start producing more of it, which signals to the nervous system that it’s time to start packing things in for bed.
  • Increased Serotonin: Serotonin is another bodily hormone involved in the sleep process. For simplicity’s sake, think of it as the precursor to melatonin. 
  • Lowers Heart Rate: Meditating lowers the heart rate, which is ideal for sleep. 
  • Mimics Sleep Patterns: Essentially, meditating mimics many of the body’s natural rest functions.  

In addition to meditation, good sleep hygiene is also essential. That includes:

  • Sticking to a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercising and moving during the day (so you’re tired at night)
  • Shutting down all visual electronics
  • Avoiding caffeine and large meals one or two hours before bed

What Is a Good Bedtime Meditation? 

A calming meditation for sleep triggers your body’s natural slumber functions and puts your mind in a tranquil state. 

One of the main reasons people have trouble falling asleep is because their minds fixate on problems, stressors, and mistakes. When we’re all alone at night, with just our thoughts, things can get a bit hairy up there. 

So what’s the trick to quelling unwanted night ruminations? 

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. 
  • Say a gratitude devotional or affirmation, or indulge in an open discussion with your cosmic crew before bed. (Don’t worry; no one else is watching or listening.)
  • Make every effort to breathe deeply and calm your nervous system.
  • Experiencing all the spectrum’s emotions — from cringe-inducing to comfortable — is vital for good mental health. However, try to end the day with positive thoughts, even when things are hellacious.
  • If it flows, let yourself cry. Doing so releases stress hormones through your tears and has a soporific effect. (Don’t force yourself to weep, but if you feel a cry coming on, let it happen instead of fighting it.)

How long will it take to start working? It depends on your consistency. People who faithfully do bedtime meditations notice a difference in a couple of weeks. 

If your practice is sporadic, you’ll likely enjoy a sedative effect each time, but it won’t have a significant, positive, and permanent impact on your life.

9 Relaxing Bedtime Meditations To Ease You Into a Peaceful Sleep 

A consistent bedtime meditation practice can affect how you feel during the day. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel.

So let’s review nine options to take for a test ride. As always, keep what works and discard the rest.

1. Mindful Breathing Meditation

Overview: Mindful breathing is a common type of bedtime meditation. It does an excellent job of slowing your nervous system and triggering sleep hormones.

Experience: Beginner and up

man in deep sleep bedtime meditations

How To: Snuggle into your bed. If possible, lay on your back to start. Take a deep breath in and release it. 

Pay attention to the air entering and leaving the lungs and mouth. Your thoughts will wander. That’s OK. When you notice them, simply return your mind to your breathing.

Don’t count your breaths; just keep inhaling and exhaling. Eventually, you will drift off to sleep. If you wake in the middle of the night, use this method to get back to sleep.

2. Body Scan Meditation

Overview: Praise every inch of your body by doing a scan meditation. It occupies the mind (which keeps it away from stressful places) while calming the nervous system. Additionally, scan meditations are tension releasers.

Experience: Intermediate beginner and up

How To: The purpose of a body scan meditation is to acknowledge every part of yourself. Start at the tip of your pinky toenail and work your way up the body. But don’t be general. For example, go from your pinky toenail to your pinky toe, then hop over to your ring toe’s nail and ring toe — so on and so forth. 

Acknowledge every muscle, joint, and feature all the way up to the top of your crown (head). Try not to be judgmental.

For example, if you’re not happy with the size of your tummy, don’t chastise it. Embrace every part lovingly.

3. Musical Meditation

Overview: Did you have a bad day? A night meditation with music can be a soothing balm. Instead of concentrating on your breath, ideas, or visualizations, release everything and let serenity carry you off to sleep.

Experience: Beginners and up

How To: Pop on a pair of comfy sleeping headphones and pick a meditation track to play as you doze off. Don’t have any meditation music in your collection? Don’t worry.

There’s no shortage of free options. Check out YouTube, Spotify, podcasts, apps, and Apple and Amazon music. Even Audible has options.

Experiment with different tracks and genres. Try Tibetan monks chanting, a psychedelic synthesizer, or a theremin compilation. Or go with something unique. One of our team members uses Hawaiian tunes.

Pay attention to the music. Listen to each note, and let each one reverberate in your soul. When your mind wanders — which it will — gently bring it back to the music.

4. Loving Kindness Meditation

Overview: Are you going through one of those horrid weeks where nothing is going right, and you’re butting heads with everyone? It may be time for a loving-kindness meditation. They’re great when you want — nay, need — to clear out the muck.

Experience: Intermediate and up

How To: When navigating interpersonal conflicts, nighttime can be gruesome. It’s just you and your negative, angry, frustrated thoughts, sitting alone with the darkness. During these times, a loving-kindness meditation can keep you from falling backward into the swirling pit.

The goal is to generate healing, positive energy in and around you.

Begin by taking several deep breaths to center yourself. Then ask for good vibes from your higher self. Let them fulfill your request and notice the good energy protectively swarming around you.

Once you’ve been given a boost, send good vibes to someone you love, a neutral party, and an adversary.

Cosmically reaching out to people you clash with is an excellent mental exercise. It’s a humble reminder that none of us truly know what’s exploding behind the scenes in other people’s lives. For all you know, there may be a perfectly understandable reason someone is acting out. 

Reaching the level of compassion wherein you can truthfully wish your opponents well and mean it (instead of just saying it) is an impressive behavioral step that will bring you considerable peace of mind.

woman with headphones sleeping bedtime meditations

When you reach that point, stress, status fears, and resentments leave your orbit, and life becomes a lot better. 

There’s a world of difference between performative and genuine compassion, and doing loving-kindness meditations nightly can help you cross over.

5. Breathing Symphony

Overview: The “breathing symphony” bedtime meditation is easy and effective when you need to occupy your brain without thinking too hard. 

Experience: Beginner and up 

How To: Essentially, breathing symphony meditations are about counting your breaths, and it’s super easy to do. Simply inhale for three seconds, hold for three seconds, and exhale for the same amount.

Some people make the mistake of trying to breathe super deeply. It’s unnecessary. Find a depth with which you’re comfortable and go with it.

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6. Visualization Meditation

Overview: Visualization meditations are powerful — but it takes a while to get the hang of it. That said, they’re worth trying. Studies prove that visualizing is a critical component of success. 

You needn’t see a picture-perfect image when visualizing. Many peoples’ brains don’t work that way. Thinking about your “image” in words, scent, or abstractly is also fine. Use the method that’s best for you.

Experience: Intermediate and up

How To: Visualization meditations aren’t easy because they require considerable brain control. Monk-like stamina isn’t necessary, but first-timers usually have difficulty keeping a sustained focus on a multifaceted image or imagining. 

Start by closing your eyes and setting an intention about what you want to visualize.

Typically, people choose to picture a post-goal aspect of their life. For example, if your dream is to live in Paris, you may imagine yourself going to Le Gatsby on Avenue Bosquet on a Friday evening. 

Try to be as detailed as possible. Think about the smells, sounds, and weather. Paint a complete picture. Don’t let your mind wander. Focus solely on the scene you’re creating.

7. Self-Compassion Meditation

Overview: When frustration, anger, resentment, guilt, and worry land in your lap, life becomes unbearable. It’s like being stuck in emotional quicksand.

And things can get exceptionally squirrely at night when intrusive, self-denigrating thoughts bombard your head. In these times, self-compassion meditation may help.

Experience: Advanced and up

How To: When doing a self-compassion meditation, you’re not supposed to ignore the nasty, limiting, difficult ideas that cross your head. Instead, acknowledge them without judgment.

clean bedroom for a good night's sleep bedtime meditations

This can be challenging because most people’s instincts tell them to escape uncomfortable thoughts ASAP. 

For this type of meditation to work, you must be willing to stare down your own faults so you can genuinely forgive yourself. True mental growth is dependent on crossing this self-awareness Rubicon. 

8. Manifestation Meditation

Overview: Manifestation meditations are fun and have the power to carry you away from your everyday worries and woes safely. 

Experience: Intermediate and up

How To: There are several ways to approach a manifestation meditation. Generally speaking, you’ll want to center yourself and take time to imagine your ideal life. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the visualization at hand. 

9. Connection Meditation

Overview: When you feel connected to your surroundings — to the Universe — you’re more in the flow. Life seems to go smoother, and you’re not as affected by every little hiccup. Connection meditation practice can help cultivate this instinctual energetic bond.

Experience: Beginner and up

How To: Connection meditations are very similar to breath-mindfulness ones. The goal is to focus on one thing. In this case, it’s an energetic bond. Once you’re settled in, simply focus on the fact that you are one part of a complex, never-ending universal energy force.

While this is an “easy” meditation to do, it’s near impossible to master. See how far you get!

We hope you picked up a few ideas about meditation before bed. It’s a fantastic habit to form and has the power to transform your body, mind, and soul. 

What are the benefits of bedtime meditation? Find out in this post and also learn some relaxing bedtime meditations.

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