The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. - E. Joseph Cossman
There are times when sleep seems to come naturally. Then there are the nights when your mind doesn’t want to shut down for some reason.
Your thoughts begin to race. You start thinking about what needs to get done tomorrow or about what you forgot to do today.
The minutes start to tick away. As you look at the clock and rest seems so far away, you contemplate the wisdom of getting up to get an early start on that to-do list.
We all have moments like these when acute insomnia strikes without warning.
When you have tools at your disposal that can help you to take the edge off of wakefulness to find rest again, then you have a better chance of returning to a deep state of sleep.
One of the best guided meditations for sleep is a program called Sound Asleep by iAwake Technologies.
It is one of the most popular tracks of its type because it effectively transitions your mind to a state of rest and relaxation.
Guided Sleep Meditation for Insomnia
Guided sleep meditation is a form of Yoga Nidra which can help your body and mind start to relax even though you are at a high stage of alertness.
This process helps you to manage stress, combat anxiety, and release the tension that holds you back from the rest you want.
Sleep is a critical component of your health and wellbeing. A guided sleep meditation eliminates all of the rules so that you can find rest.
All you need to do is listen to a track like Sound Asleep, settle in, and allow your body to respond to the environment.
It helps to maintain a cool bedroom so that your body transitions from a state of wakefulness to one which encourages rest.
You can meditate right before, during, or at the conclusion of your bedtime routine.
Try to avoid using caffeine or alcohol before bed as these can reduce the impact of the guided meditation process.
Then create a useful bedtime routine that can help your body to anticipate when the time is right to fall asleep.
Some call this process a way to practice good sleep hygiene. Here are the steps you will want to follow.
1. Keep to a consistent schedule whenever possible. It helps to go to bed at the same time each night to avoid having acute insomnia transform into a chronic condition. Getting up at the same time each morning helps too. Stay consistent with the times you set for yourself even on the weekends.
2. Be mindful of what you eat every day. If you go to bed feeling hungry, then the response of your body can wake you up later. Avoid eating foods with simple starches or refined carbohydrates as these can promote weight gain at night in some people. Try to limit fluids to avoid a late-night bathroom stop.
3. Your bedroom must become an oasis against the stresses of the world. You should not use it for work, checking email, or watching television.
4. Stop watching the clock. If you stare at the time ticking by, then the levels of stress you can trigger can make it even more challenging to fall asleep.
This time is when the introduction of a guided sleep meditation program like Sound Asleep by iAwake Technologies can be beneficial.
Deep Sleep Guided Meditation
Why try the best guided meditation for sleep?
Because this deep relaxation technique can provide several benefits.
It can make it easier to fall asleep, and then stay asleep. The quality of your rest may improve.
Some people can even increase the amount of sleeping time they receive each evening by incorporating this practice into their evening routine.
There are several reasons why a deep sleep guided meditation is a positive choice to make when trying to address your issues with insomnia.
- It is a safe practice to use for everyone. Meditation is an essential tool for those who prefer a medication-free way to improve their sleep habits. It is an all-natural approach that can reduce the need for sleeping pills, reduce bothersome symptoms, and there are no known side effects or associated risks with the practice.
- You can use it with other sleep assistance techniques. A program like Sound Asleep works with other rest improvement treatments such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to identify anxiety triggers and thinking errors which could be robbing you of the rest you require.
- Meditation can provide several health benefits. You might notice that your blood pressure numbers go down, there could be less pain, and issues with anxiety or depression may have less of a hold on your life.
Then there is the fact that meditation is an accessible tool for everyone.
You can even try it by yourself for free if you wish.
A guided program that encourages sleep will help you to practice more effectively because your mind will want to follow the instructions while you maintain a private profile.
Sound Asleep works at home, when you are on the road, or anywhere else if you need some time to rest or conquer the impacts of insomnia in your life.
Guided Meditation for Sleep and Relaxation
The effectiveness of meditation is a positive life impact which science verifies through numerous research projects and studies.
If you meditate regularly, then the practice can physically change your brain and body over time.
This process can help you to promote healthy behaviors, improve several health problems, and help you to fall asleep faster.
There are four critical studies that look at the benefits of all forms of meditation from the perspective of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which is a division of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.
A study from 2012 compared the brain images of 50 adults who meditate regularly to those of 50 adults who do not.
The results found that those who incorporate meditative practices for an extended time have additional folds in the outer layer of their brain, which may increase an individual’s ability to process information.
In 2013, a review of multiple studies found that the practice of meditation can slow, stop, or reverse the changes which start to take place because of the normal aging process.
It can impact the activity levels in the amygdala as well, which makes it easier for practicing individuals to retain more control over their emotions.
Does Meditation Help Everyone Sleep Better?
A review of 47 trials involving more than 3,500 participants found that this perspective can show moderate improvements in anxiety and depression, but only if an individual can release their tension or stress during that process.
A 2012 review of almost 40 trials found that two-thirds of them reported a better outcome for anxiety symptoms when compared to a control group.
The NCCIH funded a study of 54 adults with chronic insomnia to teach them the methods of mindfulness-based stress reduction that included specific therapies for their sleep problems.
Some people learned a self-monitoring program. The work found that both programs helped with sleep, but a focus on the actual symptoms creates a significantly better result.
By using guided meditation principles to help you find the rest you want, it becomes easier to reach the state of sleep that you need.
There are some reports that individuals with severe depression or anxiety can make their condition worse, so it is advisable to speak with your preferred medical provider before making a change to your bedtime routine.
My Experience with Sound Asleep by iAwake Technologies
Is Sound Asleep by iAwake Technologies the best guided meditation for sleep?
I had sent a message to the guys behind this program not so long ago, and they told me that this program was one of their best sellers in the year of its release.
They also mentioned that the refund rate for this program is less than 2%. Those facts were encouraging to me since that meant others were finding value with this guided meditation, so I decided to give the program a try.
I had a lot of excitement going into the program for the first time.
I’d been having some trouble sleeping, so anything that could provide some help was going to be useful for me.
I was using white noise, fireplace sounds, and YouTube videos meant for sleep assistance to find rest, but none of the options were overly successful.
Even if I could fall asleep, I would keep waking up after a couple of hours and struggle to get back into a comfortable spot.
The week before I began trying the Sound Asleep program, 3 AM and I had become terrific friends.
When I hit the play button for the first time with this program, I was hoping for a miracle.
I wanted something that would make me feel sleepy. What I received was a very different outcome.
The first track starts like most guided meditation programs.
You can hear some ocean waves in the background, a building ambiance in the environment with isochronic tones, and a slow crescendo to the volume.
Then the voice which serves as a guide to the program begins to speak.
The experience was jarring for me because the audio technicians compress and pan the instructions the guide gives to you over the speakers or headphones.
I found it challenging to understand what he was saying sometimes over the background noise.
The background sounds continue to offer nature sounds while the guide takes you back from 100 while encouraging you to relax.
I felt like the music was too loud in the background, and the voice was too soft, even after trying to equalize the track through my equipment.
I remember listening to the entire track that first night wondering how anyone could fall asleep to it.
I decided to give it another attempt the next night, focusing as much as I could on the voice speaking to me instead of the background sounds.
As my focus went with the words being said, I felt myself starting to feel a little sleepy.
By the time we made it to 91, I was already yawning. “Locate rest now,” the guide said. That felt like a good idea.
The pattern of the track remains the same until the end. There are some instructions after some of the numbers during the countdown.
I highly recommend focusing on these elements of the program because they encourage relaxation and rest.
If you are not a fan of the guide in the Sound Asleep guided meditation, then I strongly encourage you to use the music-only track instead.
It eliminates the issue with panning when using stereo headphones while providing an environment that promotes sleep.
If I need a break during the day, I sometimes put on my headphones to listen to the program as a way to recharge my batteries.
Verdict on the Sound Asleep Guided Meditation Program by iAwake
It took me some time to get used to using Sound Asleep by iAwake Technologies.
I can understand why some people might feel bothered by the design of the narration on the track.
If you concentrate more on the words than the sounds, then I would agree that finding a place of rest is possible with this program.
However everyone's different so maybe in your case focusing on the sounds will work better.
If you find that it doesn’t work for your needs, then a second option I would encourage is Deep Delta.
It is also helpful for issues with acute insomnia when other tools are not providing the assistance you need.
We all need sleep for energy, mood stabilization, and our overall health.
If you are struggling to reach the 6-10 hours you need each night, then give Sound Asleep an honest try for a few consecutive days.
It is a program that grows on you and provides a foundation for rest.
Don’t use Sound Asleep or any other program as a substitute for conventional care.
If you have chronic issues with sleep, then your health care provider could identify a medical problem that requires treatment.
If you are battling the occasional night of restlessness, then this is one of the best meditation programs for sleep I think that you can find today.
If you have sleeping problems you may also be interested in: ClariDream Deep & Sleep Salon.
READ NEXT: How to Fall Asleep Faster & Easier [17 Tips]
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash