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10 Recommended Meditation for Sleep Apps to Drastically Improve Sleep

10 Recommended Meditation for Sleep Apps to Drastically Improve Sleep

The benefits of meditation include improving focus and lowering stress levels. Meditation has so many benefits that it’s grown to become a popular practice that can greatly improve your health and wellness.

If you’re looking for the perfect app to help you meditate with the specific purpose to improve your sleep, you’ve come to the right article!

In this post, we’ll look into the basic criteria you should be using to review different meditation for sleep apps. I’ll also recommend 10 meditation for sleep apps to help improve your sleep.

Requirements of the meditation for sleep app

Before you search for every meditation for sleep app out there. You first have to look at the necessary requirements the app has to fulfill.

  • Accessibility: What is the price? And is the app available for your device? Can you access it without Wi-Fi to avoid distraction?
  • Meditation basics: Does it cover the basic principles of meditation?
    “Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.” — Swami Rama[1]
  • Quality of sleep: Does it focus on improving your quality of sleep? Do you fall faster asleep?

10 Recommended meditation for sleep apps

These requirements will be covered in the following paragraphs for each individual meditation for sleep app. Besides the requirements, pros and cons will be listed too. And to top it off, there will be a 1-5 star rating.

1. Calm

    Calm is a bit different than most meditation for sleep apps. Most apps use a structural manner to present their meditations and have a sequence to follow. With Calm, you can go about it in any way you want.

    First, there are some (30+) basic white noise sounds which are all free to download. Then, you have a specific department dedicated to your focus (sleep in this case). What you will find there are stories; just simple relaxing stories that will talk you through a story.

    After that comes the meditation menu which includes all the specific meditations you need. They have over 100+ meditations with options from beginner to relationships.

    The fourth option in the app is music focused on a specific purpose which also includes sleep, 9 are free.

    Last but not least, there are masterclasses available for premium members which are taught by experts in their areas, from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) to Dr. Judson Brewer (World-Renowned addiction expert).

    Requirements
    • Accessibility: There’s a lot available for free. The app is available for Android, IOS, and desktop. Everything is downloadable for offline use.
    • Meditation basics: There are multiple options for specific meditations all geared towards the goal of calming the mind. Listening to stories can work for some but may not be for everyone.
    • Quality of sleep: There are specific sleep meditations and music (+white noise) which helps a lot of people.[2]
    Pros:
    • The app offers a lot of options, not only guided meditations but also stories, music, and masterclasses which brings the complete experience.
    • There are a lot of free meditations available.
    • Low price to pay for the premium version ($40/year).
    Cons:
    • Not knowing where to start because there’s a lot to experiment with (which could also be fun).

    Rating: 4.9/5

    Availabe for iOS | Android

    2. Simple habit

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      The app has 3 different menus; on the go, series, and teachers.

      There are free journeys available focused on learning to meditate, morning meditations, improving focus, finding happiness and sleep better (YES). There are precisely 23 meditations focused on sleeping better (and about 50 more with premium) plus on the go meditation for sleep of 5, 10 or 20 minutes.

      The upgrade is expensive, from $100 per year.

      Requirements
      • Accessibility: There is a lot available for free. You can download the app on IOS & Android, and everything is downloadable for on the road.
      • Meditation basics: The simple habit guided meditations are taught by professional teachers, some who were monks and scientists. Famous names include Matt Young and Catherine Cook-Cottone.
      • Quality of sleep: There are specific meditations available for improving sleep. The rest of the meditations focus all on the same; calming the mind (which also makes it easier to fall asleep).
      Pros
      • Covers everything you need to practice mindfulness thoroughly.
      • There are a lot of free meditations available.
      • With Simple Habit, you can meditate everywhere.
      • Their slogan is the best meditation app for busy people, and they really live up to it by making it easy to match your mood or situation to a specific meditation practice.
      Cons
      • The premium version is expensive which means you’ll have to listen the same over and over if you keep using the app for daily meditation for sleep.

      Rating: 4.8/5

      Available for iOS | Android

      3. Insight Timer

        Insight Timer is much more than just a meditation app, it’s a whole community of teachers and meditators. When you open the app, you see immediately how many meditations people did on that day and how many people are meditating at the moment. You can even see it on the world map.

        Besides that, there are meditations, timers, and courses available. And the best thing yet all meditations are free. You only pay for the 10-day courses of the best teachers. There are 10,000+ meditations, and there are a lot of meditations focused on sleeping better. There’s also a meditation for sleep course available in the app.

        Requirements
        • Accessibility: There are enough meditations for free to pick a different meditation every day for 10+ years, the premium version is $3 a month for offline use and higher quality audio. The courses cost $5 for single use or $20 for lifetime access, which is quite expensive. The app is available for Android and IOS.
        • Meditation basics: There are focused meditations for specific purposes like having a peaceful sleep session. The courses are taught by real professionals, so those offer a lot of value. There’s even a 7-day introduction course to meditation to teach you all the basics of meditation.
        • Quality of sleep: There are lots of meditations focused on increasing the quality of your sleep through deep sleep techniques, breathing techniques, and healing meditations.
        Pros
        • Insight Timer consists of the biggest meditation library of over 10,000+ meditations for FREE!
        • The community part of Insight Timer gives an entirely new spin to the ‘usual’ meditation for sleep app.
        Cons
        • The valuable courses are costly.

        Rating: 4.7/5

        Available for iOS | Android

        4. Smiling Mind

          The unique thing about Smiling Mind is that it’s all free and focused on specific age groups. They even offer meditation programs for 3-year-olds! It is a 100% non-profit organization that wants to make mindfulness available for everyone. Their goal is to have a preventive solution to a possible mental health condition.

          They have programs for sports, commuting, workplace and more!

          Requirements
          • Accessibility: Everything is free, and their app can be downloaded on Android and IOS. You can also download every meditation for offline use.
          • Meditation basics: All the meditations are based off scientific research so you’ll see results very quickly.
          • Quality of sleep: They do not have specific programs dedicated to improving sleep, but in most programs, some meditations focus on improving sleep.
          Pros
          • Everything is free, literally everything.
          • The app is not only for adults but even for 3-year-olds. They really try to cover as many people as possible so everyone can benefit from mindfulness.
          • It has specific programs geared towards improving education (schooling) or work.
          Cons
          • None

          Rating: 4.6/5

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          Available for iOS | Android

          5. Headspace

            Headspace is an app based on science with a lot of opportunities. It focuses on making it as simple as possible to do meditations. They have meditations for literally everything, from walking in the city to gardening.

            A unique thing they have is their department dedicated to kids. They also have animations which some of them are free.

            Requirements
            • Accessibility: They don’t have free meditations focused on sleep and not a lot of free meditations at all which means you would have to upgrade immediately to really benefit. The premium feature is often discounted to about $50 per year which is doable. Headspace is available for both IOS and Android. You can download meditations for offline use.
            • Meditation basics: Yes, it focuses on making the mind still and being entirely conscious. They also have a separate in-house team of researchers who researched a lot of the results and best practices.
            • Quality of sleep: There are specific meditations focused on improving the quality of your sleep, from guided meditation for sleep to sounds and unguided meditations. They even have a meditation for sleep for kids as well.
            Pros:
            • Very short meditations (some of1 min).
            • A wide variety of topics and 30 sessions specifically dedicated to sleep.
            Cons:
            • You have to pay for almost everything before you can listen to most of it, except for the first basics pack of 10 sessions of 5-10 min and some first tries for individual packages.

            Rating: 4.5/5

            Available for iOS | Android

            6. Sattva

              Sattva is an app based on the ancient Vedic teaching.[3] With this teaching in mind, you need a spiritual teacher with this specific knowledge. One of those spiritual teachers they acquired for the app is Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

              The app doesn’t only focus on meditations but also chants and mantras. These are also good ways to clear the mind.

              With its tracking system, you’ll know exactly how much you have meditated and from where. One thing they do differently than the other apps is that Sattva has a one-time payment (costly) for the premium version.

              Requirements
              • Accessibility: A lot of the meditations, chants, and mantras are free. It looks like you can get access to a community and other meditations, chants, and mantras for a one-time payment of $249.99 (expensive). The app is available for Android and IOS. Everything is downloadable for offline use.
              • Meditation basics: The meditations, chants and mantras in this app all have their roots in the ancient Vedic religion. It is taught by multiple spiritual teachers who have been practicing these methods for years.
              • Quality of sleep: It seems like there is at least 1 meditation for sleep and multiple on deep relaxation which could also be used as a meditation for sleep.
              Pros:
              • There’s a lot available for free
              • There’s a wide variety of methods of meditation available such as guided meditation for sleep, self-taught meditation with a timer, chants, mantras, and music.
              • Themed collections are available for specific days, like Wellness Wednesday, Strengthening Saturday and Gratitude Thursday.
              Cons:
              • The premium version is costly (but you don’t necessarily need it)

              Rating: 4.3/5

              Available for iOS | Android

              7. 10% Happier

                10% happier is not only an app, but it is also a story. An idea expressed in multiple books, a podcast, and a blog.

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                Dan Harris is the mind behind the brand, he wrote the book 10% happier which became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

                The app is made for ‘Fidgety Skeptics’ as they state on their website. In the app, you will find meditations by spiritual teachers and practitioners all over the world.

                From Joseph Goldstein to Sebene Selassie. You can try the app for free for 7 days and after that upgrade to premium or only have access to the limited free content.

                Requirements
                • Accessibility: The app doesn’t only have 100+ meditations but also 20+ courses available. About 20% is free, and for a price of $99.99 per year, you can get access to everything else. The app is available for Android and IOS. It doesn’t look like you can download meditations or courses for offline use.
                • Meditation basics: The meditations and courses in the app are taught by people who have a lot of experience in the meditation industry themselves. For example, Joseph Goldstein is one of the first American Vipassana teachers.
                • Quality of sleep: There’s a specific category dedicated to sleep in the app which consists of 11 kinds of meditation for sleep of which 3 are free. They all focus on a different part of sleep, from relaxing into sleep to when you can’t sleep.
                Pros
                • A lot of work was put into the concept of 10% happier which not only makes it an app but a story/method of calming the mind which is taught by a lot of well-known teachers.
                Cons
                • If you really want something out of the app, you’ll have to buy the premium version which is pretty expensive.

                Rating: 4.1/5

                Available for iOS | Android

                8. Stop, Breathe & Think

                  Stop, Breathe & Think is a very well structured app that has a unique feature: the check-in. This option allows you to express yourself and based on that expression it will recommend meditation sessions to you.

                  It has a lot of free meditations but even more premium ones for a price of $59.88 per year. 10% of that money goes to helping kids learn mindfulness practice, isn’t that lovely?

                  Their meditations are available in English and Spanish which is a nice differentiator of their competitors.

                  Requirements
                  • Accessibility: The app doesn’t have such an extensive library like Insight Timer, but it does have 100+ meditations available with about the half of that for free. You could upgrade to get access to more meditations for $59.88 while contributing to the knowledge of mindfulness for children. The app is available for Android, IOS, and even computer! It doesn’t seem like you can download the meditations for offline use.
                  • Meditation basics: The name of the app says it all, it’s all about taking a moment to focus the mind on the breath and thoughts. This way you’ll have a clear mind for the rest of the day.
                  • Quality of sleep: There’s a particular category dedicated to improving your sleep through meditation for sleep. There are in total 22 sessions of which 4 are free. They all focus on improving the quality of your sleep.
                  Pros
                  • It’s easy to have an overview of the app because it is well structured.
                  • If you buy premium, you not only do it for yourself but also for children who can benefit from the mindfulness practice.
                  Cons
                  • There are not a lot of meditations available at this date, let alone free meditations.

                  Rating: 4/5

                  Available for iOS | Android

                  9. Omvana

                    Omvana is the #1 app for meditation, focus, sleep and inspiration tracks in 30+ countries.

                    Instead of meditations, everything is called a track and can be put in the categories; guided meditation for sleep, music, poetry, brainwave entertainment, relaxation sounds and sleep-inducing tracks.

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                    Instead of offering a premium version, you have to buy some of the tracks for prices between $0.99 and $7.99.

                    Requirements
                    • Accessibility: The app has 100+ free tracks available, and for different prices, you can buy different tracks depending on your preference. The app is available for Android, IOS, and desktop. Instead of the option to download the tracks for offline use, you have to download a track before you are able to use it at all. It’s sort of like with music.
                    • Meditation basics: There are a lot of tracks made by teachers like Gabrielle Bernstein, but there are also pure sounds from nature. It all focuses on one goal; calming the mind.
                    • Quality of sleep: As with all the meditation for sleep apps on this list, Omvana also includes a separate category dedicated to better sleep. This consists of 20 tracks of which 4 are free to use. From sleep hypnosis to lucid dreaming, it’s all possible here.
                    Pros
                    • Instead of buying an all-inclusive premium version, this app is the first app (besides Insight Timer which uses a combination) to let you choose exactly what you want to buy.
                    • Omvana is made by Mindvalley which has a massive community. If you like Omvana, you could become part of the Mindvalley community and get more out of it than just meditation for sleep.
                    Cons
                    • There’s a limited amount of meditations dedicated to sleep available.
                    • You have to download every track you want to listen to which can take up a lot of memory space of your phone.

                    Rating: 4/5

                    Available for iOS | Android

                    10. The Mindfulness App

                      The mindfulness app is a very well structured app. Everything is divided into different categories, and there’s also a category for sleep which consists of 10 sleep meditations (all premium) and 1 sleep course (also premium).

                      There are 11 regular meditations for free, you can unlock the rest for a yearly subscription of $59.99 or a monthly subscription of $9.99 per month.

                      Requirements
                      • Accessibility: There are not a lot of meditations for free, but if you unlock the premium version (for a doable price), you’ll have access to 200+ meditations. The app is available for Android and IOS. It doesn’t show an option to download meditations for on the road, but maybe that’s only a premium option.
                      • Meditation basics: There are programs available by Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Jack Kornfield. So yes, the basics of meditation are covered by these teachers.
                      • Quality of sleep: There are few sleep meditations, and they are not necessarily focused on enhancing deep sleep or falling to sleep quickly.
                      Pros
                      • The meditations that are available in this app are all taught by well-known teachers in the industry.
                      • They have specific programs focused on an outcome like becoming more focused. There’s not a particular order in which the meditations are supposed to be listened to, but they all have the same goal.
                      Cons
                      • There are almost no meditations available in the free version.
                      • There aren’t a lot of meditations focused towards sleep.

                      Star rating: 3.6/5

                      Available for iOS | Android

                      The bottom line

                      Meditation for sleep can indeed increase your chances of sleeping better. The only thing you need to figure out is the best resource to help you with it.

                      With all these 10 recommended meditation for sleep apps, you should be able to find the one that fits your needs most.

                      If you need help implementing meditation into your daily life, check out this article:

                      6 Ways to Include Meditation in Your Daily Routine

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Marnix Buijs

                      Marnix is a health and fitness blogger. While he walks his own journey, he shares his experiences and knowledge to help others.

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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