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Ever been curious about meditation and mindfulness? Here we take a peek at the potential benefits it can have on our sleep.
cultivating tranquillity: the bond between *mindfulness, meditation, and a restful night’s sleep*

We live in a world that is dominated by relentless schedules and a consistent need to be forever connected. Neither of which is conducive to getting a good night’s sleep! 

But as the number of us turning our attention towards the practices of mindfulness and meditation increases, we thought it essential to explore their potential to promote a more restful night’s sleep in a little more depth.  

Without further ado, scroll on to discover just how mindfulness and meditation might be able to help us achieve a more restful night’s sleep consistently.  

understanding mindfulness and meditation 

Mindfulness encourages us to be fully in the present moment. It’s a technique that promotes self-awareness.  

Meditation is a much broader term that involves a range of techniques. But just like mindfulness, meditation centres around helping to promote mental clarity, the careful balancing of emotions, and achieving a sense of calm.  

You may have noticed that mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword recently. Whether you’re a little overwhelmed by the enhanced presence of this word or feel that you’ve read it so often you might as well get on board, there is no denying that a mindfulness movement is on the horizon.  

While these techniques are definitely rooted in spiritualist practices (1), mindfulness and meditation techniques are now something for anyone and everyone to embrace. But is mindfulness and meditation right for you? Let’s learn a little more about the benefits of these practices to help you decide! 

the sleep-inducing benefits of mindfulness and meditation

When it comes to deciding whether techniques such as mindfulness and meditation are a good fit for your needs, it’s good to understand how they can be beneficial. Here we’ll take a look at some of the key areas in which being mindful or practicing meditation could be a good idea for you: 

 1. reducing stress and anxiety 

Stress and anxiety are a common daily hurdle many of us have to overcome. What’s more, stress and anxiety can negatively impact our ability to achieve a restful night’s sleep. But here, they can provide a beacon of hope. These techniques can be used to help us better process our thoughts and emotions, and thus are handy for helping us to move past their sleep-disrupting influences.  

Mindfulness and meditation can help us to break down the stresses and strains of daily life into smaller, bitesize chunks. The simple act of being fully present in the moment enables us to promote a personal sense of peacefulness that is much more conducive to a good night’s sleep (2). 

2. enhancing our ability to relax 

Both mindfulness and meditation help to trigger our bodies' relaxation response. This is basically a physiological state that is classified by a reduction in our heart rate, muscle tension, and general stress levels. And exercises as simple as focusing on our breathing can go a long way towards reducing our stress and anxiety levels (3).  

Breathwork is actually an entire subcategory within the broader mindfulness and meditation technique hierarchy. And it’s one that goes way beyond that “in through the nose and out through the mouth” advice we’ve been handed out almost our entire lives. The art of breathing and focusing on being present in the moment is a great first step on your journey to self-discovery and relaxation. Plus, it’s great for getting us into the right headspace to ensure we're better equipped to fall asleep faster too (4). 

3. improving our sleep quality

Getting a quality night’s sleep is not just about the duration! The depth and restorative nature of a much-needed rest are also key components that factor into whether or not we’ve been able to achieve a better quality of sleep (5). Studies attest to the power of regularly engaging in mindfulness and meditation for improving our sleep quality. Here are some of the ways that our sleep quality can be improved: 

  • Reduce number of sleep disruptions: One of the main ways in which mindfulness and meditation can improve sleep quality is through a decrease in the number of sleep disruptions we suffer through the night. Disrupted sleep patterns are often fuelled by stress and a racing mind. And by embracing techniques designed to reduce our stress levels and quieten our anxious thoughts, we can minimise the number of disruptions that we experience on a nightly basis (6). 
  • Increase our sleep durations: In reducing the frequency of sleep disturbances, mindfulness and meditation practices can actually help to increase the total amount of sleep we get too. An improved sleep duration can help make sure that our bodies and minds are able to undergo the restoration and rejuvenation they need to perform at their best (7). 
  • Enhance our overall sleep experience: Our sleep quality can be measured and monitored by more than just the quantity. Our sleep experience is just as important as how much sleep we manage to get on a nightly basis. Those practicing mindfulness and meditation often report a noticeable improvement in the quality of their sleep too. Thanks to the sense of deep relaxation that meditation and being mindful is able to achieve, an elevated sleep experience all-round is apparent.  
  • Improve REM sleep and dream activity: Scientific studies suggest that the connection between mindfulness/meditation and sleep quality is linked to an enhanced amount of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is a stage that’s most widely associated with vivid dreams and cognitive processes. Studies seem to suggest that being mindful and practicing meditation can also contribute to an augmentation of REM sleep (8).  
  • Reduce sleep latency: Practicing mindfulness can also make it easier to fall asleep at night. For those of us who find it difficult to fall asleep at night, mindfulness and meditation can be a solution to help speed up this transition. That nightly racing mind that often causes a delay in the onset of sleep is quietened by such techniques. And thus, many people find that they are able to fall asleep faster by working mindful meditation into their bedtime routine.  

science-y insights

When we head into the realms of neuroscience, we unlock a glimpse of the physiological changes that intertwine the mindfulness/meditation technique and improved sleep. Studies suggest that there are alterations in specific regions of our brains that are implicated in sleep regulation, i.e. the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. But the impact of these practices on our neurotransmitters (i.e. serotonin and melatonin) further cements their role in optimising our minds and bodies for a restful sleep (9). 

In understanding these neurobiological mechanisms, we can enjoy the benefits reported by sleep experts while discovering how targeted interventions (such as harnessing the power of mindfulness and meditation) can help us address sleep disorders. For many of us mindfulness meditation goes beyond science, and these techniques are sometimes a last resort for people desperate to break the cycle of a bad sleep routine.  

how to work mindfulness/meditation into your sleep routine

When trying to work mindfulness or meditation into your everyday bedtime routine, here are some of our top tips: 

  • Keep it consistent: How effective you can expect mindfulness and meditation to be in promoting sleep in your life depends entirely on how consistent you intend to be. Establishing a consistent mindfulness or meditation practice (preferably at the same time each and every day) can help to send those signals to your body and mind that it is time to start calming down and relaxing ahead of bedtime. 
  • Think about using guided meditations for sleep: Guided meditations can be tailored for individual sleep needs. The help to provide you with a more structured approach to winding down. One of the great things about the recent influx of apps and websites aimed at mindfulness and meditation is that there has never been a better time to access cheap or often free resources. These sessions can incorporate everything from soothing visualisations and rhythmic breathing exercises to calming sounds that align with your personal values. 
  • Create a calm sleep environment: When applies to your bedroom, the principles of mindfulness will help to build an ideal calm and conducive space that incorporates optimised lighting, minimal electronic distractions, and an all-round comfortable ambiance boasting soft bedding and slumber-tastic decor. A comfortable mattress is also a must! This type of environment works alongside those mindfulness practices in order to help you create an atmosphere that promotes a more restful sleep (10). 



Whether you’re trying out mindfulness and/or meditation to promote a better night’s sleep, or to ease that constant chattering in your mind, these ancient practices can be a trusted refuge for the waking hours while still acting as a sanctuary for the night time ones too. Mindfulness and meditation for sleep can be a positive step towards creating a sense of calmness that can make falling asleep faster all the more achievable. 




  2. Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress ( 


  4. 8 best breathing exercises for sleep — Calm Blog 

  5. The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - PMC ( 

  6. How can meditation help with sleep? - Every Mind Matters - NHS ( 

  7. Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep - Harvard Health 

  8. Meditation and Its Regulatory Role on Sleep - PMC ( 


  10. Meditation for Sleep: How to Use Meditation for Insomnia, Better Sleep (