Mindfulness Music for Sleep
While many of us know what mindfulness meditation is, mindfulness music is still a foreign concept. Is it possible to achieve mindfulness by listening to music instead of dedicating your time and energy into a mindfulness meditation practice?
Additionally, can listening to mindfulness music help you sleep better?
What is mindfulness?
Even though mindfulness is practiced by meditating, they don’t mean the same thing. Mindfulness means to be in the present moment, fully immersed in the current activity, and it’s something we can do at any moment.
Rest assured, mindfulness does not mean having a clear mind, free of all thinking. Nor is it a miracle cure that eliminates anger, stress, or unpleasant feelings. Being mindful means being aware of all of these distractions, thoughts, and emotions without placing any importance on them. That way you can respond to them with more awareness.
Like any other skill, mindfulness requires practice through meditation techniques––mantra meditation, focusing on the breath, or guided meditation to name a few. Once focus is developed, it can be applied to everyday life and any activity––work, play, or rest.
When challenges arise and sleep becomes more elusive, mindfulness is a powerful tool to have in your back pocket.
How can meditation help you be in the present moment?
There are several methods of mindfulness that can help you bring the focus within.
One method is by repeating a simple mantra like “So Hum” silently. When the mind becomes distracted, the attention is brought back to the mantra. Another method of being mindful is by focusing on the breath by silently saying “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. You may also combine a mantra with the breath. For example, you might focus on the word “peace” as you breathe in and “love” as you breathe out.
While these methods of mindfulness may help focus the mind, do they improve sleep? According to research, they do.
A study on mindfulness-based stress reduction methods found that mindfulness lowered anxiety and stress levels and improved sleep. Furthermore, the techniques helped participants eliminate further stress by improving their emotional and cognitive brain activity. In other words, mindfulness can help you moderate the thoughts and emotions that keep you awake at night.
While this sounds great, sometimes you might be too exhausted to meditate and want to sleep immediately. Can listening to meditative or relaxing music help you fall asleep and sleep better?
Mindfulness and relaxing music to help you fall asleep
Just like mindfulness guides you away from distractions and into the present moment, relaxing music appears to offer the same benefits.
While it isn’t exactly clear why music is so conducive to sleep, the function of blocking out external noise and mental disturbances is similar to mindfulness meditation. Music that is calming and rhythmic, like the soft keys of a piano or gentle chimes, can also help you stay present. Soothing music combined with a mantra like “OM” can make your music listening even more meditative. Fortunately, you can combine any music on BetterSleep with meditation to enhance your mindfulness practice.
There’s no doubt that mindfulness meditation is a helpful tool, but not everyone can dedicate themselves to a regular meditation practice to sleep better. Listening to relaxing and meditative music is a wonderful way to experience the benefits of mindfulness and deepen your sleep.
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