Disclaimer: This article was written and originally posted by the EOC Institute.
** All I did was remove the ads.**
Other than hibernating bears, meditators are the world’s best sleepers.
Just how good are they? If sleep was an Olympic sport, then their trophy shelves would be full of Gold medals.
Backed by thousands of studies, here are four key reasons meditation conquers sleep problems, dominates sleep disorders, while reversing even the worst cases of insomnia.
#1 — Meditation Strengthens The Most Important Sleep Brain Region
If you normally feel tired, drowsy, and fatigued, you are likely not getting enough deep, quality sleep.
Far beyond going through the motions of laying in bed for 8 hours per night, spending sufficient time in the REM stage of the sleep cycle is critical to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Indeed, the quality and depth of your sleep beats the quantity of hours you spend in bed — every time.
Luckily, scientists have studied the sleeping brain for decades, and now have a real grasp on its’ working components. Serving as the on/off switch to the REM stage of sleep, the funnily named, base of the brain originating “Pons” regulates the main dreamtime chemical: melatonin.
Weakness or abnormality within this critical brain region will prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep, plain and simple. If only there was a proven way of building up this key brain area, and therefore, allow you to get life-nourishing sleep, night after night. There is!
Among many other brain areas, neuroscientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that meditation builds up a big and strong sleep centered “Pons”.
In fact, whole books have been written by meditators about their lucid dream abilities, which of course is impossible without ample time in deep-stage REM sleep.
Is meditation the look no further, all-in-one cure for insomnia? Many doctors believe so. If you want an all natural, super effective solution to sleeping like a baby every night, then meditation is your number one draft pick.
#2 — Melatonin: Meditation Boosts The Sleep Brain-Chemical King
One powerful neurochemical, “melatonin” is critical to the falling asleep process. Manufactured in the brain, melatonin is a hormone whose levels peak just before bedtime, ensuring you get a night of deep, restful sleep.
What is melatonin’s number one enemy? Stress. Inhibiting your natural sleep cycle, low melatonin levels initiated by the stress snowball effect create all kinds of mental, emotional, and physical problems.
Luckily there is a very effective, all natural remedy. Rutgers University researchers discovered that melatonin levels for meditation practitioners were boosted by an average of 98%, with many participants having increases by more than an incredible 300%!
Meditation effectively re-balances all of the biological markers for night after night of super deep, natural sleep, every night of the week — ensuring you wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated every morning. No insomnia allowed.
(Note: Boosting your melatonin naturally with meditation, rather than through supplementation, is a far better and more effective long term solution for nightly deep sleep).
#3 — Meditation Cools The Brainwaves Of Insomnia & Boosts The Brainwaves of Sleep
Those of us who spend our sleepless nights staring at the ceiling tend to have an excess of beta brainwaves, best known as the dominant mental state when we are anxious and/or depressed.
As many insomniacs can attest, the negative thoughts about being unable to fall asleep can spiral further and further as the night wears on, kicking up nasty beta brainwaves more and more.
This negative feedback loop works to ensure the falling asleep process is delayed as close to your dreaded alarm clock wake up time as possible. Isn’t it fun going to work with only one hour of REM sleep?
Studies show that experienced meditators – those who are able to achieve the deepest states – have far fewer nasty insomnia causing beta brainwaves, and much higher levels of the far more beneficial alpha, theta, and delta brainwave patterns.
The calm and pleasurable brainwaves of meditation directly cancel out ugly insomnia brainwaves, ensuring you perform at maximum capacity for every tomorrow.
If you want to sleep like a log, then meditation can be exactly the remedy you have been looking for!
#4 — Meditation Buries Today’s Stress & Tomorrow’s Worries
Can’t sleep at night? We have all crawled under the covers with our never-ending to do list and/or some seemingly unsolvable life problem fully occupying our prime thought-space.
While losing a few hours of sleep this way is perfectly natural and normal every now and then, in the long term, sleep deprivation can leave you looking and feeling awful while zapping your normal energy levels and health (deep, restful sleep is crucial for great health).
The mindful thought awareness we learn during meditation does a miraculous thing: by bringing us to the present moment, our worrywart brain suddenly realizes that the day is over, while tomorrow is not yet upon us.
This awareness of now, and the awareness of your body and how your thoughts are affecting you in the moment, is often the only way to calm your mind and quickly (finally!) get to sleep.
The mindfulness learned from meditation is the easiest and most effective way to re-train the ready-for-bedtime brain, making a deep, restful night of shuteye the standard.
Sleep problems begone.