Guided Meditation for Insomnia

So many people are suffering from some form of sleep insufficiency, the Center for Disease Control has actually declared insomnia a public health emergency. Sleep deprivation leads to irritability, sub-par functioning, muddy thinking, poor judgment, inefficient use of time, dangerous driving, impaired relationships and decreased enjoyment of life.

There are two kinds of sleeplessness or insomnia – the kind where you have trouble falling asleep, and the kind where you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep. We have something to help with both.

That’s because mind-body techniques such as guided imagery, hypnosis and guided meditation for insomnia are made to order for interrupting the frustrating cycle of sleeplessness. In fact, a whole host of research studies show that most kinds of mind-body tools and meditation techniques for insomnia will deliver refreshing, restorative sleep to weary listeners.

In fact, it’s not at all unusual for guided imagery or meditation to eventually replace sleep medication - without the sluggish side effects and with far pleasanter dreams, we hasten to add.

We’re proud of our carefully curated collection of sleep resources, meticulously assembled over the years. Our Health Journeys guided imagery for sleep is a national, all-time best-seller. Traci Stein’s hypnosis for sleep and self-esteem is another huge favorite, as is Carol Ginandes’ hypnosis for power napping.

KRS Edstrom has a very effective meditation for insomnia. Yoga and gentle acupressure are other powerful techniques for sleep help, starting with Rubin Neiman’s brilliant and informative Healthy Sleep audio set.

Of course, for many people, nothing works as well as Steven Mark Kohn’s beautiful, calming, sleep-inducing music – who could blame them?

Add a little aromatherapy, by way of a candle, lotion, pillow spritz or essential oils, redolent with the scent of lavender, chamomile, bergamot and vanilla, and you’re on your way. Throw in our soft, comfy, light-blocking sleep mask and you’re there.

These wonderful mind-body resources may be all you need. But just in case, here are some other simple but effective, tried-and-true, common sense things you can do to sleep sounder and better.

And if you want Belleruth’s in-depth report on sleeplessness and what to do about it, sign up for her free report.

  • Try to make a habit of writing down, before bedtime, all the things you need to take care of for the next day, so that you are, in essence, getting it out of your head and onto a sheet of paper. Journaling thoughts and feelings also serve the same purpose in a more wide-ranging way.
  • If you work out or exercise at night, it would be better to switch to the morning or afternoon – not just before bedtime. Evening exercise too close to bedtime feeds insomnia.
  • If you drink alcohol at dinner or after, this might help you fall asleep in the short term, but it’s also likely to be what’s waking you up at 2 or 3 a.m. Booze is a terrible intervention for insomnia.
  • Never underestimate the sleep-inducing power of room darkening or even blackout shades. For some, this makes all the difference.
  • And while you’re at it, remove or cover all the LED lights in the room.
  • Similarly, don’t watch TV or use your computer around bed time. Just like those LED lights, this stuff wakes up your brain, even when you’re dog tired.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind revs up with worries, plans, problems, solutions, whatever, you will either need to distract your mind – with reading, or music or one of these audio resources or else get out of bed and try to address some of these things in a more proactive way. The worst thing you can do is just lie there thinking "I have to get some sleep!!! I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!!! I MUST sleep!! This insomnia is going to wreck my ability to function!!" because, of course, when you’re having that conversation with yourself, you’ll never fall asleep!
  • If you’re in the middle of one of these dreadful insomnia cycles, you might want to consider getting a prescription for a mild sleeping pill – not as a permanent solution, but just to break the cycle of sleeplessness. Work with your doc to find a good medication that works well for you, without producing a “hangover” the next day. It’s best to experiment over the weekend or on a week night when you don’t have to be terribly sharp the next morning. Once you break the cycle, you can wean yourself off the meds with some guided imagery or hypnosis.

Good luck and sweet dreams!