At night it’s not uncommon for your mind to feel like a browser with too many tabs open — your thoughts racing from one to another. You may be making grocery lists, wondering what next week will look like, or trying to figure out how old your pup is in people years. More often than not, falling asleep can mean wading through all your daily stressors and anxieties before you can finally relax.
If you struggle with falling asleep, you may be surprised to learn that the average time it should take for a healthy person to get to sleep is only 10 to 20 minutes. If getting to sleep that fast seems like a far-off dream to you, it may be time to learn some techniques to relax and focus your mind.
Studies have shown that those who practice mindfulness meditation during the day have reduced insomnia, fatigue, and depression compared to those who do not meditate. This makes sense since meditation strengthens your mind’s ability to focus on relaxing thoughts, allowing you to calm your racing mind and get some rest.
An easy way to focus your mind on relaxation is to repeat a phrase over and over. Keep reading to help you get your best night’s slumber.
Why Sleep Mantras Work
There are several factors at play when it comes to meditation and sleep. One of the reasons that meditation helps you fall asleep is the impact it has on your melatonin levels. Melatonin is your body’s natural sleep hormone, which helps regulate your internal body clock.
While external stimuli like light exposure can affect your melatonin levels, stress also plays a part in how much of this chemical your body produces. When you practice mindfulness and reduce stress, studies have shown that melatonin levels increase.
Much like the age-old technique of counting sheep, repeating a phrase helps keep your thoughts focused on the present. Another recent study has shown that repetition helps reduce activity in the cerebral cortex, creating a calming effect. While only thinking of the mantra, you’re less likely to remain tense physically, or worry about things that keep you up.
In addition, mantras don’t keep your mind busy like counting sheep does. Instead, they help you focus on positive emotions like peace and tranquility.
Read More: How Long Should it Take to Fall Asleep?
How to Use Sleep Mantras
Rather than staring at your ceiling, counting sheep, or hopping back on your phone — use a mantra to clear your mind. Pick one that speaks to you and inspires calm.
Then repeat the words over and over in your head to keep yourself from straying into thoughts that may keep you up. Focus as much of your attention on the phrase as you can, though you may also need to focus on your breathing to keep your thoughts totally focused.
Use these mantras to soothe a troubled mind and fall into a deep slumber.
- I welcome sleep into my being
- Nothing is left undone
- I am becoming more relaxed with every breath
- I make peace with time
- I embrace my dreams
- My mind and body are ready for sleep
- With each breath, I am closer to sleep
- I release this day
For help keeping your worries at bay, use these mantras for a relaxing and restorative sleep.
- I let go of what I do not need
- The world is sleeping and all is well
- My body is a source of calmness
- I choose to feel at peace
- Let it be
- All experiences are helping me grow
- Where I am is where I am meant to be
- Around me and within me I find stillness
Use these mantras to lift your spirit and bring joy into your dreams.
- I am in complete control of my emotions
- I am capable
- I love and approve of myself
- All I need comes when I need it
- I allow myself to be happy
- I am surrounded by love and support
- I am comfortable in my own skin
- I welcome all forms of positivity into my life
For those who struggle with especially intrusive thoughts or a whirring mind, use these mantras to concentrate on the present.
- I am here and now
- My mind is calm and my body is relaxed.
- Every heavy thing falls away
- I put my thoughts aside in this moment
- I enjoy the feeling of stillness
- I am free to be in the present
- I am, I am, I am
- I feel every part of me relaxing
These mantras come from meditative yoga practices, that are known for relaxation and aiding sleep. Use them when you want to enter a state of total peace and awareness, either for sleep or meditation.
- Har Har Mukunday – The infinite creator liberates me
- Ang Sang Waheguru – The infinite Being is within me and vibrates in ecstasy in every molecule and cell of my being
- So hum – I am that
Sources: Refinery29 | Reverie | HappyProject | HealthHarvard