- Uniting East & West
- Mental Health Benefits
- Stress Management
- Sahaja Relieves Depression
- Other Treatments
- Depression - Natural Remedies
- Overview of Depression
- Forms of Depression
- Gender, Culture & Age Variations
- Diagnosing Depressive Disorders
- Causes Overview
- Depression in the Brain
- Genes & Family Links
- Psychosocial Stressors
- Negative Thinking - Depression
- Immunity-Related Causes
- Depression Due to Medical Disorders
- Attention, AD/HD
- Meditation and Sleep
How Sahaja Meditation Promotes Quality Sleep
- Sahaja meditation brings about global functional changes in physiology that are actually similar to the changes that occur during sleep.
- Meditation elicits the relaxation response and provides stress relief, which sets the stage for quality sleep.
- Sahaja meditation functions as a global autoregulator, playing a modulatory role in sleep by helping to regulate autonomic functions (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and body temperature).
- Meditation positively influences key neurochemicals that are involved in getting a good night’s sleep, including melatonin, serotonin, GABA, cortisol, norepinephrine, epinephrine.
- Sahaja meditation has a built-in ability to function as an emotional regulator, which helps facilitate quality sleep.
- Meditation may reduce the amount of time we need to sleep; that is, meditation may actually replace a portion of sleep, or help pay-off sleep debt.
It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is a fundamental cornerstone of both mental and physical health. But for some, falling asleep quickly, sleeping soundly through the night, and awakening rested and recharged is difficult.
Sleep disturbances are actually one of the most common health problems, with up to one-third of people of all ages experience difficulty falling and staying asleep (National Health Service, 2013) and at least 10 percent of us experience insomnia regularly (National Sleep Foundation, 2014). Around 50 percent of people 55 years and older have some form of sleep problem, including initiating and maintaining sleep (Black et al., 2015).
Americans report sleeping an average of 7 hours and 36 minutes per night, in case you’re curious (National Sleep Foundation, 2014). But 23 percent report their sleep quality as “only fair;” 12 percent, “poor.” Thirty-five percent report sleep quality as “good;” 18 percent, “very good;” and only 12 percent, “excellent.”
A remarkably broad range of people have sleep disorders of various types, and finding solutions is important, given sleep’s influence on every aspect of health. Sleep medications may help, but they only provide temporary relief, rather than a long-lasting solution.
Sleep disturbances may present in a variety of ways. In addition to serious clinical sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, parasomnias (e.g., sleepwalking, sleep terrors, nocturnal dissociative disorder) and breathing-related sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, there are many sleep disturbances that are more common, and for which meditation may provide relief…
- Insomnia — difficulty initiating (latency) or maintaining sleep;
- Non-restorative sleep;
- Hypersomnia — excessive sleepiness, requiring too many hours of sleep to feel rested
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorder — disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm; often occurs in shift workers, those who frequently suffer jet lag, or others who experience fluctuating sleep schedules that conflict with their own internal circadian clocks
Why Do We Have Trouble Sleeping?
The causes of sleep problems can vary widely — from neurophysiological problems, fluctuating hormone levels and a racing mind (anxiety, “thinking too much”) to lifestyle (e.g., excessive caffeine, alcohol) and environmental factors (e.g., disruptive light or sound). People with mood and anxiety disorders, as well as other medical conditions, often have trouble sleeping.
But chronic sleep deprivation actually becomes a serious health risk. Long-term insomnia triggers a chronic stress-response in the body through the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis. We may begin to feel as if we’re in imminent danger, which triggers higher blood pressure, heart rate and an inflammatory response, all conditions that can lead to serious mental and physical health problems. The HPA is a brain-body circuit that plays a critical role in the body’s response to stress. The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system, our hormone-producing system.
Meditation can be restorative in a manner similar to sleep, which has led researchers to investigate meditation and sleep, why meditation seems to be able to do whatever it is that sleep does, even if by a different — though overlapping — process.
How Meditation Improves Sleep Quality
Several studies have investigated how meditation influences the quality of subsequent sleep, and whether meditation may help those with sleep disturbances fall asleep more easily, stay asleep and achieve restorative sleep. Following are highlights of study results and an exploration of the mechanisms through which meditation may promote quality sleep.
The Relaxation Response
First, meditation evokes the relaxation response, a term coined by Dr. Herbert Benson (professor, author, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute) in the 1970s to describe a deep physiological shift in the body that’s effectively the opposite of your body’s fight-or-flight stress response. Benson believed that, for many people, sleep disturbance is closely tied to stress.
The relaxation response is, effectively, your ability to encourage your body to stimulate relaxation of muscles and organs. It is a sustained state of deep physical rest that changes our physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension) (Benson, 1975). During the relaxation response:
- metabolism decreases
- heart beats slower and muscles relax
- breathing (respiration) slows
- blood pressure decreases
- levels of nitric oxide increase
- blood lactate decreases
“The ideal,” Benson said, “is to develop a routine, a time to bring forth the relaxation response that becomes as much a part of the day as brushing your teeth” (The Wellness Book, 1992). He believed that, if practiced regularly, the relaxation response could have lasting effects. In addition to easing many stress-related ailments, the relaxation response can help relieve depression, pain, anxiety, high blood pressure and more.
While the benefits of Sahaja meditation extend far beyond simple relaxation, Sahaja almost immediately elicits the relaxation response, during the earliest phase of the meditative session.
Many researchers have viewed meditation as a “relaxation paradigm,” triggering physiological changes, such as reducing heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, but increasing skin temperature. One study of Sahaja meditation, however, found a reduction in palm skin temperature during the state of thoughtless awareness, whereas, the skin temperature of controls performing a simple relaxation exercise increased. This phenomenon suggests that Sahaja’s unique state of thoughtless awareness is both physiologically and experientially unique, compared to both simple relaxation and other forms of meditation. The degree of skin temperature decreases correlated with the intensity of thoughtless awareness reported by meditators (Manocha et al, 2010).
Sleep problems can result when stressors exceed our ability to manage them. Many studies have shown that meditation relieves stress and improves our coping abilities. Meditation is believed to act on arousal and neurocognitive processes that modulate the relationship between our perception of a stressor and our appraisal of how it will affect us (Holzel et al., 2011).
Sahaja mediation has been found to reducing the emotional significance of negative events during the evaluative stage or appraisal. One 2014 study of long-term Sahaja practitioners found that Sahaja meditation exerts top-down emotional regulation and flexible appraisal and control of our own emotional states, particularly negative emotional states (Reva et al, 2014). The emotional stability of Sahaja meditators was found to be more than an overall dampening of emotional responses to external events; rather, it was found to result from the ability to prevent intense, full-scale, potentially harmful, physiological reactions in response to strongly adverse conditions. Thus, emotional appraisal transforms into cognitive appraisal, allowing more flexible responses to emotional challenges; for example, we rely on our rational, objective problem-solving skills, rather than reacting emotionally.
Other studies indicate that meditation can reduce our automatic stress responses and increase the relaxation response by increasing attentional factors that impart control over the autonomic nervous system, reduce worry and rumination (Jain et al., 2007), and alleviate mood disturbances (Hofmann et al., 2010).
The effects of occupational stress, as we all know, can linger into the hours when we should be sleeping. A couple of studies investigated the influence of Sahaja meditation on workplace stress…
- One Australian workplace study found that Sahaja’s thoughtless awareness, compared to a non-mental silence, relaxation approach to meditation, was, on average, twice as effective in reducing stress, general depressive symptoms and some symptoms of anxiety (Manocha, Black et al, 2011).
- Another large 3-year UK study found that the overall stress and anxiety level of the Sahaja meditators strongly decreased, compared to the Hatha Yoga group (relaxation meditation) and traditional corporate executive training (Zollo, M., Berchicci, V., 2007).
- The “thought reduction” or “thoughtless awareness” state intrinsic to Sahaja meditation was found to have specific effects on work stress and occupational health. Thoughtless awareness transcends the ordinary mental, physical and emotional planes of consciousness where we think, feel and analyze, allowing us to “go offline to make repairs” to our emotional and cognitive processing. In fact, studies show that experienced Sahaja meditators are even able to switch off irrelevant neural circuitry that interferes with their ability to function optimally, allowing them to maintain focused, internalized attention and to inhibit negative, intrusive or distracting thoughts and feelings (Aftanas & Golocheikine, 2001, 2005).
While Sahaja meditation does elicit the relaxation response and provide stress relief, it acts on neurophysiological mechanisms that confer much deeper mental and physical health benefits, especially over the longer term.
Meditation Influences Sleep-Related Neurochemicals
Meditation positively influences neurotransmitters and neurohormones involved in regulating sleep. We’ll highlight a few for which supporting research currently exists.
No discussion of sleep would be complete without discussing the neurohormone melatonin, often referred to as the “sleep hormone” or “the hormone of darkness.” Melatonin plays a vital role in the physiological regulation of sleep by enhancing melatonin levels and hence quality of sleep. Melatonin is converted from serotonin in the pineal gland in the brain under directions from our internal circadian clock. Melatonin regulates our circadian rhythm (sleeping and waking) cycles, telling the body when it’s time to sleep. Acting as an ‘internal sleep facilitator,’ melatonin promotes sleep, and its sleep-facilitating properties.
Our internal biological clock is reset daily by environmental and internal stimuli. Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a circadian clock in a tiny specialized structure of the hypothalamus (the suprachiasmatic nucleus). Melatonin exerts its hypnotic effect by two mechanisms: 1) by inhibiting this tiny structure in the hypothalamus (von Gall et al., 2002); and 2) by facilitating the hypothermic response (lower body temperature) through dilation of peripheral blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure (Krauchi et al., 1997).
Melatonin supplements have been shown to have value in treating various circadian rhythm sleep disorders, such as jet lag or shift-work sleep disorder.
One study that measured melatonin levels in experienced meditators found that they had significantly higher plasma melatonin levels in the period immediately following meditation compared with the same time period on a night they didn’t meditate (Tooley et al., 2000). Meditation is believed to increase melatonin levels by slowing hepatic (liver) metabolism and/or by increasing its synthesis in the pineal gland (Massion et al., 1995).
Other studies of meditation have found increases in blood plasma levels of melatonin (Harinath et al., 2004; Massion et al., 1995; Solberg et al., 2000a, 2004a, b; Tooley et al., 2000) in long-term meditators, as well as following meditation.
Meditation may be particularly helpful for enhancing sleep quality as we age. In addition to its immune-enhancing and oncostatic properties, melatonin also acts as an anti-aging agent and helps create a sense of well-being, which helps ensure a better night’s sleep (Reiter, 1995; Pandi-Perumal et al., 2006). Aging tends to naturally reduce melatonin secretion (Sack et al., 1986), thus affecting our quality of sleep as we age. Melatonin has been found to be effective for treating insomnia symptoms, especially in multiple studies of elderly, depressive and dementia patients (Pandi-Perumal, 2006; Siegrist et al., 2001; Olde & Rigaud, 2001).
Melatonin has been closely linked to serotonin, which also plays a key role in mood stabilization (including depression), positive affect, stress-prevention and aging (Pacchierotti et al., 2001). Melatonin is converted from serotonin in the pineal gland in the brain under directions from our internal circadian clock.
Meditation is known to increase the precursors of melatonin, especially serotonin (Bujatti & Riederer, 1976). This, combined with the hypothamus’ activation of the pineal gland during meditation, may cause the pineal gland to increase production of melatonin through the conversion of serotonin. The net result would be both better sleep and mood improvement.
Sahaja meditation techniques direct energy flow through the body’s energy centers or chakras and can selectively activate or suppress various glands associated with these energy centers. The pineal gland corresponds to the Sahasrara (7th) chakra located at the crown of the head. In Sahaja meditation, the Sahasrara is associated with achieving the state of thoughtless awareness, integration of energy from all chakras, oneness with the collective consciousness and feelings of joy.
Meditation also influences other neurochemicals in ways that promote sleep…
- Serotonin the “feel-good” neurotransmitter (associated with positive mood), especially in long-term meditators (Newberg, A., Iverson, J., 2003; Bujatti, 1976; Walton, et al, 1995; Solberg et al., 2000a, 2004b). Serotonin also plays a role in sleep cycles, circadian rhythm, and autonomic processes such as blood pressure, body temperature and endocrine system function, all of which can influence sleep quality.
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyricacid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter, has a calming, anti-anxiety effect on the brain by modulating or regulating the activity of other neurotransmitters critical to mental health, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine (Elias, A.N., Wilson, A.F., 2000). GABA plays a significant role in “the slumber system.” Clusters of nerve cells in the preoptic area of the brain are active specifically during sleep; that is, this activity is required to maintain a state of sleep. These sleep-active nerve cells contain GABA, which turns down, or dampens, the firing of other cells that would promote wakefulness. When these sleep-active neurons are firing, they inhibit the arousal systems of the brain and “turn off the lights.”
- Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” which increases when we experience stress and anxiety and can continue to cascade throughout the body for hours afterward. Regular meditators have been found to have significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is also an age-accelerating hormone (Sudsuang et al., 1991; Newberg & Iverson, 2003). A study of long-term Sahaja meditators found that just 20 minutes per day of Sahaja meditation significantly decreased blood cortisol levels, which decreased oxidative stress and perceived stress levels (Rai et al, 2013). Other studies have found that urine and plasma cortisol levels are decreased during meditation (Livesey et al, 2000; Walton et al, 1995; Sudsuang, 1991; Jevning, R., 1978), which may be explained by the fact that decreased norepinephrine during meditation likely decreases the production of ACTH (which stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol), which, in turn, ultimately decreases cortisol levels. Long-term meditative practice reduces adrenocortical activity (steroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands), including the release of cortisol (Jevning, et al., 1978; Sudsuang, et al., 1991).
- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline), sometimes referred to as the “neurotransmitter of fear,” is the dominant neurochemical involved in anxiety disorders. It causes the heart rate to increase, stored glucose (simple sugar) to be released, and increased blood flow to the muscles. Norepinephrine is adaptive in that it helps us escape danger, but also helps create or exacerbate anxiety. During meditation, respiration and heart rates decrease, which in turn, reduces the activity of areas of the brain that produce norepinephrine. Decreased norepinephrine ultimately decreases stimulation of the hypothalamus, decreasing the stress-related production of cortisol and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) (Newberg & Iverson, 2003).
- Epinephrine (Adrenaline) is a both a neurotransmitter (acting in the brain) and a stress hormone (acting on other sites, such as the heart or glands) that stimulates the sympathetic nervous systems to produce fight-or-flight responses, such as increased heart rate, increased blood glucose, and increased blood flow to muscles. Studies have found reduced epinephrine levels during meditation, reflecting the systemic change in autonomic balance brought about by meditation (Walton, K.G., et al, 1995; Infante, J.R., 2001). During meditation, the hypothalamus may inhibit the adrenaline output of the adrenal medulla, which decreases anxiety. Decreased adrenaline, coupled with the deep relaxation state experienced during meditation, allows the hypothalamus to bring about tranquility (Chugh, D., 1987).
Meditation as a Global Autoregulator
Sahaja meditation brings about global changes in mental and physical well-being. Many of these functional changes in physiology are actually similar to the changes that occur during sleep. Sleep, in itself is an autoregulatory global phenomenon (Kumar, 2010). But it’s also true that meditation plays a modulatory role in sleep by helping to regulate autonomic functions (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, respiration) in a way that allows us to fall asleep, stay asleep and cycle through the necessary stages of sleep. Meditation, with its global effects on body and brain functions, helps establish a mind-body harmony. Thus, meditation functions as an integrated, autoregulatory global phenomenon.
Various sleep-generating mechanisms can actually be altered with meditation. Meditation techniques have been found to help regulate blood flow to the executive regions of the brain during sleep (Lou et al., 1999). Importantly, meditation also heavily influences the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis, a brain-body circuit which plays a critical role in the body’s response to stress. By down-regulating the HPA axis, meditation reduces stress, prolactin and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels (Jevning et al., 1978).
Thus, meditation helps to maintain resting — parasympathetic predominance (Young and Taylor, 1998) among both experienced and novice meditators (Zeidan et al., 2010). In fact, EEG studies show that Sahaja meditation is associated with enhanced frontal midline theta activity (Aftanas and Golocheikine, 2001, 2005), which originates from the anterior cingulate cortex and controls parasympathetic or resting activity.
Another meditation study found that meditation helps retain the flexibility of autonomic activity as we cycle through various stages of sleep (Zeidan et al., 2010). Such sleep-dependent autonomic changes, along with melatonin’s anti-aging and antioxidant effects (Pandi-Perumal et al., 2006), work to maintain homeostasis during sleep, promoting overall health and neuroplasticity, or long-lasting, changes that also help slow aging. Aging is known to alter autonomic flexibility, leading to an overall increase in sympathetic activity and a decrease in parasympathetic activity, thereby bringing about autonomic arousal and poorer sleep quality.
Sahaja meditation regulates the autonomic nervous system, reducing physiological arousal and triggering key physiological changes such as: reduced respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure and regulation of blood glucose and the stress hormone cortisol. One 2012 2-week trial of Sahaja meditation found that hypertensive participants who received meditation treatment signiﬁcantly improved both systolic (9.4 mm Hg decrease) and diastolic (12.32 mm Hg decrease) blood pressure and had better blood pressure control than control hypertensives who received only conventional Western medical treatment. (Chung et al, 2012). This study found that the therapeutic effect of Sahaja meditation was achieved during the state of thoughtless awareness where participants were better able to introspect, address, and resolve the distress caused by negative thoughts and emotions.
Meditation is continually resetting metabolic functioning, despite varying levels of stress. This internal metabolic resetting forms the baseline trait characteristics necessary for all potential changes brought about by meditation.
Thus, meditation produces a continuum of global regulatory changes at various behavioral levels that ultimately promote quality sleep.
It goes without saying that when we’re stressed, anxious or emotionally unstable, we don’t sleep well. From a cognitive behavior perspective, sleep problems stem from automatic arousal, dysfunctional cognitions, and consequential distress (Harvey, 2002). Increasing the attribute of mindfulness through meditation has been shown to help relieve sleep problems.
One 2015 clinical trial evaluated 49 middle-aged and older adults who had trouble sleeping (Black et al., 2015). Half completed a mindfulness awareness program that included meditation and other exercises designed to help them focus on “moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions.” The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits, including education about sleep biology, characteristics of healthy and unhealthy sleep, sleep problems, stress biology and stress reduction, self-monitoring of sleep behavior, relaxation methods for improving sleep, and weekly behavioral sleep hygiene strategies. Each group met once a week for two hours over a 6-week period. Participants in the mindfulness meditation group experienced less insomnia, fatigue, and depression than those in the sleep education group.
This study, incidentally, also found that meditation reduced inflammatory signaling, as measured by decreased concentrations of inflammatory markers in blood plasma (Black et al., 2015). Sleep disruption is known to increase with increases in inflammatory markers.
One of the most important dimensions of a Sahaja meditative practice is its built-in ability to function as an emotional regulator, which sets the stage for getting a good night’s sleep. And thanks to the human brain’s natural plasticity, short-term state changes may evolve into long-term trait changes with time and practice.
Sahaja meditation deploys the dual and simultaneous techniques of attentional control and replenishment of the energy force that balances the sympathetic nervous system activity underlying emotional processing. Each Sahaja session provides an instant increase in this vital energy supply, which instantly enhances emotional or psychological resilience. More energy flowing through your parasympathetic nervous system, up through the 6th energy center (Agnya chakra), prolongs the state of thoughtless awareness. Thoughtless awareness, in turn, enhances attentional control. The result is that less attention and emotional energy is devoted to negative thoughts, memories and feelings that can cause us to lose sleep. Over time, your attention gradually shifts from the past to the present, a shift that, in itself, can significantly improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Over the longer term, your psychological resilience increases, which better equips you to cope with daily stressors, thereby promoting better sleep quality on an ongoing basis.
Meditation teaches us to pay nonjudgmental, nonreactive attention to all aspects of experience, both internal and external. As we discussed, Sahaja meditators can even learn to “switch off” neural circuitry that interferes with their ability to function optimally and sleep well. Studies have also found that experienced Sahaja meditators, compared to beginners, have higher psychoemotional stability — lower levels of trait anxiety and neuroticism (Aftanas & Golocheikine, 2001). They also had a wider spectrum of positive emotional experiences and were shown to bounce back quicker after stressful events.
These studies and others (e.g., Cahn and Polich, 2006), have demonstrated that the typical slow-wave (alpha-theta) brain patterns elicited during some yogic meditation techniques (including Sahaja meditation) are also observed during rest, thus suggesting meditation’s similarity to sleep, as well as its ability to induce lasting emotional trait effects, beyond the shorter-term “state effects.”
Recent fMRI studies found increased gray matter volume in brain areas of Sahaja meditators associated with increased “good life” traits such as personal growth, self-acceptance, purpose in life, self-directedness and autonomy that are known to be good predictors of good health. These results suggest that the long-term practice of Sahaja meditation may increase neuroplasticity and enhance our ability to regulate emotions. (Hernández, 2016).
It’s been suggested that long-term meditators, even when resting, may be entering into a semi-meditative state, and that regular meditation may help them achieve a permanent reduction of unhealthy internal mental dialogue. This special ability, cultivated through meditation, could be immensely helpful for people who are kept awake by anxious thoughts.
Can Meditation Decrease the Need for Sleep?
If you’re sleeping better, you may find that you need to sleep less. And if you’re meditating, you may find that you need less sleep. Can meditation actually replace a portion of sleep, or pay-off sleep debt? Some studies suggest that it can.
Performance on virtually all tests (ranging from driving skills to simple reaction time) is known to decline with decreasing amounts of sleep. One small two-part study explored a form of concentrative meditation using EEG and Actigraphy (ACTITRAC activity monitors), finding that forty minutes of meditation might provide a restorative function similar to non-REM sleep (Kaul et al.. 2010). Meditation led to an immediate performance improvement on a typical psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) for novice meditators. Participants were required to monitor a LED display and hit a button as soon as it started counting, and to respond repeatedly at random intervals over a ten-minute time period. All meditators significantly improved their task reaction times immediately following periods of meditation, even when they were sleep-deprived.
A separate study of expert meditators investigated whether longer bouts of meditation may alter sleep need, finding that the meditators were near — or exceeded — the optimal range on task and sleep latency tests with less than 7 hours of sleep, and may be replacing one to three hours of sleep with meditation (despite no signs of sleep during these meditation bouts). The meditators’ sleep duration was lower than control non-meditators and general population norms, too, yet with no apparent decline in task scores (Kaul et al.. 2010). Meditation appears to provide at least a short-term improvement in reaction time performance — even in novice meditators — and may also provide a longer-term reduction in sleep need roughly equal to the time spent in meditation.
Researchers speculate that meditation may be able to do whatever it is that sleep does, by a different but overlapping process (Kaul et al.. 2010). If meditation is restorative in a manner similar to sleep, meditation might benefit individuals with excessive daytime sleepiness due to sleep disorders or lifestyle factors. Not only might these meditation sessions reduce accumulating sleep debt, meditators may also benefit from the short-term performance improvements, without the problems of sleep inertia or grogginess that occur with longer naps.
Discoveries made over the last few years suggest that meditation can promote quality sleep by producing relaxation and stress relief, regulating emotional arousal, and selectively activating nerve pathways and neurochemicals involved in regulating wakefulness and sleep. These studies also further demonstrate the true plasticity of the brain and suggest how the regular practice of Sahaja meditation can have positive long-term effects on our mental and physical health and well-being.
Sahaja Meditation Techniques for Improving Sleep
Reported by nearly all practitioners as significantly improving their quality of sleep, foot soaking is a highly effective technique in Sahaja meditation. Several practitioners report dramatic changes in their sleep patterns and wake up feeling energized and refreshed after foot soaking. Combining foot soaking and meditation at night can produce the level of relaxation response required to switch off our thoughts and clear ourselves of any negative emotions accumulated during the day. This makes falling asleep much easier and produces restful sleep.
If your lifestyle includes a lot of physical and mental activity during the day and you find your body getting heated up by evening, then a cool water foot soak is highly recommended. If mental activity and stress is still very high, you can consider using an ice pack on your liver during your meditation. This cools down the liver and aids thoughtless awareness. Using these techniques helps prepare you for a restful sleep at night.
Sahaja reinforces the common recommendation to avoid caffeine after 6 pm to promote sleep. In addition, once you start practicing Sahaja meditation, you will be able to use short spells of meditation to bolster productivity and focus rather than resorting to strong doses of caffeine for the same. This lifestyle change along with Sahaja meditation techniques can ensure a world of difference in your sleep patterns.
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