Deep sleep meditation is a great practice for helping one achieve some much-needed and truly restful sleep. Here we explain what it is and what its benefits are.
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Deep Sleep Meditation | What Is It and What Are Its Benefits?
What Is Deep Sleep Meditation?
Everyone needs sleep after a long day at the office or school. Unfortunately, this does not always come easy.
A lot of people find that when their heads hit the pillow, their minds suddenly start racing, thinking of endless to-do lists or recapping the day’s events. Before they know it, it is already 3 A.M. and they have to wake up in two hours.
This is where deep sleep meditation comes in.
Deep sleep meditation is a technique or practice people use to induce a state of deep relaxation. This allows the body to feel more rested and jumpstart recovery, as it conditions the mind that it is already time to sleep.
In Sanskrit, the practice of sleep meditation is called Yoga Nidra or “sleep.” People who want to achieve a relaxed body and mind are the ones who often use this technique.
While this may seem like hocus pocus to some, getting enough deep and restful sleep actually offers tons of benefits. Curious what these are? Keep reading below.
What Are the Benefits of Deep Sleep Meditation?
1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Numerous studies have shown that a lack of sleep can cause heightened blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Both of these are risk factors for numerous cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Having regular, restful, and deep sleep helps lower stress and inflammation levels in the cardiovascular system. While a person sleeps, his or her blood pressure also goes down, which, in turn, gives the heart and the blood vessels their much-needed recovery.
The less sleep a person gets, the more his or her blood pressure stays heightened during a 24-hour cycle.
Deep sleep meditation helps you get that much needed 7-9 hours of sleep each night. This plays a big role in keeping blood pressure under control, thereby reducing the chances of a stroke or a heart attack.
2. Reduces Stress
When the body is sleep-deficient, it reacts by going into a state of stress. This causes an increase in the production of stress hormones, resulting in higher blood pressure and even more difficulty in sleeping.
While stress seems to be a natural part of the fast-paced lifestyle today, it can still be alleviated with the help of deep and regular sleep. Relaxation techniques, such as deep sleep meditation, help fight the effects of stress, allowing you to fall asleep faster.
3. Helps Fight Diabetes
Sleep deficiency also affects the body’s glucose production. It raises inflammation levels in the body, putting you at more risk for conditions such as diabetes.
During the deep sleep part of one’s sleep cycle, the level of glucose in the blood drops. Not having enough time for this stage means the body does not get the break it needs.
This makes it hard for the body to respond to the need of the cells to regulate blood sugar levels.
Reaching and remaining in the deep sleep stage of one’s sleep cycle is essential to the body’s ability to fight inflammation. Again, deep sleep meditation is one way to get there.
Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age. This creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions.
4. Boosts Your Mood
Another thing the body does when one sleeps is process one’s emotions. The mind needs enough time to recognize and react in the right way.
Cutting one’s sleep short results to more negative emotional reactions as the body finds it difficult to produce serotonin (the so-called “happy hormones”). At worst, it could even lead to mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
A refreshing slumber can make you feel more energized and alert for the next day. It is similar to hitting the reset button on a bad day, helping you improve your outlook and stay calm.
Using the energy boost by exercising and being more active is also one way to make sure you sleep better every night.
5. Improves Your Memory
Lack of deep and restful sleep also leads to problems in learning and memory.
Often, those who are sleep deficient have trouble maintaining focus and learning new things. They also find it difficult to store memories and recall details for later use.
This is because during sleep, the body processes the things that happened the previous day. It makes connections between memories, sensory input, feelings, and the events they happened in.
This all happens in a process called memory consolidation. It is essential for the body to make these memories and links, something it can do with enough deep sleep.
6. Helps You Lose Weight
While sleep may not directly affect weight loss, it does help regulate the hormones that control appetite. In fact, research shows that those who sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight.
This is because sleep deficiency disrupts the production of the hormones ghrelin and leptin. These hormones regulate one’s appetite and control their cravings for unhealthy and high-calorie foods. A reduced level of these hormones means you’re more likely to break your healthy diet.
Plus, being sleep-deprived also means you feel exhausted, making you less likely to want to move or exercise.
Getting sufficient and better sleep, partnered with the right diet and exercise, of course, will help you manage your weight better.
7. Makes You More Productive
Having mid-day naps is actually a life hack most people fail to take advantage of. They are a healthier alternative to that second cup of coffee.
People who nap at work manifest much lower stress levels compared to those who don’t. It improves one’s mood, memory, and overall cognitive function.
8. Strengthens the Immune System and Helps the Body Repair Itself
Sleep is a must for rest and recovery. It not only helps the body repair the damage it sustained throughout the day but also aids in bolstering the immune system.
Throughout the day, the body is continuously exposed to ultraviolet rays, stress, and other harmful substances. Exercises such as running, weightlifting, and other strenuous activities also wear the body down.
During sleep, the body produces more protein molecules which act as the cells’ building blocks. This promotes muscle recovery.
Those additional protein molecules also strengthen the body’s ability to fight off infection. It strengthens the body’s immune system, something that a lack of sleep can cause to weaken.
Because of this, it is important to catch those extra hours of sleep the next time you may be feeling a little bit run down. This should help you keep it from turning into a full-blown cold, or worse, flu.
Deep sleep meditation is one of the best ways to make sure your body receives the rest and recovery it needs. It allows you to make the most of the time you are sleeping, as those hours become more restful.
Sleep is an essential part of one’s everyday life as it boosts mood and energy, helps fight illnesses, and battles weight gain. As such, deep sleep meditation is a technique people should try out to get some truly restful sleep.
Do you have other questions about the benefits of deep sleep meditation? Ask us in the comments section below!