Sleep Meditations for Anxiety | Better sleep (2023)

Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes excessive worry or anxiety about everyday events and situations. In the US alone, over 19% of adults and 7% of children suffer from it. Anxiety can come with both mental and physical symptoms. Some physical symptoms of anxiety include tension, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fatigue, and lightheadedness.

While people with anxiety can focus on physical symptoms, it can cause many other health problems, such as: B. Trouble sleeping. Many people with anxiety also suffer from insomnia or some form of sleep deprivation. With anxiety, worry can keep you up at night due to the inability of the mind to relax.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to solve the sleep problems your anxiety can cause.

What is sleep meditation?

Guided meditation is known for thisrelaxing and calming benefits. While meditation has traditionally been used as a religious technique throughout history, various forms have been introduced over the years. Today, guided meditation can be used to:

  • Improve health and overall well-being
  • Give you a sense of peace
  • cope with stressful situations
  • improve self-confidence
  • Improve emotional health

Sleep meditation or guided sleep meditation is a technique used to prepare people for rest. Some people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because they can't calm themselves. During meditation you focus on your breathing and the present moment. This helps divert your focus from the things of the day or tomorrow's worries.

Add it to your sleep routine:

Sleep meditation can be a great addition to your daily sleep routine. Your sleep routine consists of the things you do to prepare your body for proper rest. Adding guided meditation before bed can improve your sleep quality and the amount of sleep you get.

A basic sleep routine can include light stretching, soothing sounds, tea, and meditation.

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Does sleep meditation help with anxiety?

There are many triggers for anxiety, including trauma from past experiences, personality, environment, genetics, etc. Stress is a leading cause of sleep loss due to anxiety. After a stressful day, you might have a night of back and forth. It's not always easy to fall asleep when your mind is running high.

Research on sleep meditation and how it affects anxiety and stress is ongoing. A possible explanation, however, could be this meditationreduces pain-related activityin the thalamus. Sleep meditation works on the negative thoughts and emotions that can cause anxiety or stress.

When meditating, your focus is on breathing, physical sensations, and being in the moment. It is important to clear the mind of external thoughts and eliminate all distractions.

Sleep Meditations for Anxiety | Better sleep (1)

How it works:

You activate your parasympathetic nervous system when your body begins to relax through meditation. This part of your nervous system is responsible for helping you relax. Many of these hormones are produced and released during meditation:


Guided sleep meditation is known to increaseMelatoninProduction – the sleep hormone because it helps regulate your body’s sleep. During meditation, the brain sends more melatonin into the blood to help you rest. One study showed that people who meditated regularly got more deep sleep than those who didn't.

The same people are also more likely to have better quality REM sleep. REM sleep, also known asrapid eye movement, is the part of sleep that plays an important role in healthy brain development, memory and dreaming. This sleep phase occurs at 10-minute intervals throughout the night. The last REM sleep cycle can last up to an hour.

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Serotonin, also known as the happy neurotransmitter. Serotonin is responsible for sending signals from one part of the brain to another. This neurotransmitter has a significant impact on your mood and well-being.

Stress can slow down the production of brain cells. This slowed process can lead to depression and anxiety. Activities like mindfulness can help increase brain cell production by filling up neurons.


Unlike melatonin and serotonin, cortisol is a hormone where lower production is better. Cortisol is the aging hormone that the body produces when it is stressed. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your body and how it functions. Impacts include but are not limited to:

  • Destroys healthy bones and muscles
  • Stops the production of good hormones like serotonin and melatonin
  • high blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • inflammation
  • Brain fog

A study conducted by a Rutgers University doctor showed that practicing mindfulness meditation reduced cortisol levels by almost 50%.

The best guided sleep meditations

It can be difficult to get a feel for how to meditate when you are new to the practice. Until you feel more comfortable doing it on your own, guided meditation is a great way to start your journey. In guided meditation, someone guides you through the entire session.

Finding a good guide can be time-consuming, but there are many ways to start meditating using a variety of sources. Meditation is available through many platforms; It's all about finding what's right for you.

TheBetterSleep-Apphas a lot to offer when it comes to soothing sounds, information about relaxation and meditation. Depending on what you want to achieve, there are different types of meditation to choose from. Here are some of the most popular ones to help you start your meditation journey.

(Video) Guided Sleep Meditation Let Go of Anxiety, Fear, Worry Before Sleep

BetterSleep Meditations for Anxiety:

Grounding Meditation for Anxiety

This guided sleep meditation is also known as tree meditation. This technique is a guide to help you regain focus when your mind wanders. This practice is based on bringing you into the present moment and clearing your mind of the ideas that make you anxious.

You begin the meditation by finding a comfortable position that allows you to plant your feet firmly on the floor, like a chair. This will help you feel grounded. Some people choose to sit cross-legged or lie down. After that engage in visualizations and calming techniques to help youbecome more groundedand focused.

You end the meditation with the breath. Just like the tree, you are taught to choose what to react to and what to let go of. This helps in letting go of worries and negative emotions.

SOS meditation for stress relief

Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by a certain event that happened earlier in the day, you may be unprepared for something and it makes you anxious. This 9-minute meditation is great for situations like this. This meditation provides an efficient guide perfect when you need to center yourself and return to calm. As with any other meditation practice, start by getting yourself in a comfortable position so that you can meditate at all times. The guide will take you through breathing exercises before beginning a series of mantras. Your thoughts are invited during this time to come without waving them away. This way you will learn how to control your mind and emotions.

This meditation focuses deeply on finding out how you feel about yourself and what you are involved in.

61 points of deep relaxation

One of the body's reactions to stress is muscle tension. This is the body's way of protecting you from pain and injury. With prolonged stress, your muscles can remain tight, leading to more discomfort and physical pain.

This meditation is great for people feeling the physical effects of stress and anxiety. It can help relieve stress and tension in all areas of the body before helping you get a good night's sleep. This session is more time consuming as you have to go through each area of ​​your body. So be sure to plan 30 minutes before bed for this meditation.

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As you go through each part of the body, from as small as fingers to as big as a leg, you will fully understand how each of them feels. At the end of the meditation your body will be freed and relaxed.

Gratitude for stressful times

Some causes of stress come from overthinking the problems you already have. Maybe you don't like your current job that much and your negative thoughts about it are increasing. With all the negative thoughts you allow your mind to hold, you increase the risk of stress, anxiety, and sleep problems that follow.

This meditation helps fight negativity by building resilience to negative thoughts. In return, you can cope better with stressful situations. When feelings of gratitude fill you, take less time to focus on things that cause stress and anxiety. You can look at situations from an understanding perspective instead of blaming other people.

The Mindful Breath

Mindfulness is a great meditation technique that helps people reduce the stress and anxiety that overthinking causes. Because you are focused on the things in the present, you have a more positive, serene attitude.

This meditation uses a series of breathing techniques to bring you into the present moment and bring you relief. It's a quick 10 minute session that can be done anytime you want to relax your mind. You shift your consciousness from your thoughts to your focus and your breaths.

Websites and apps:

Many apps and websites offer guided meditation services. Each place has its merits and advantages and some disadvantages. When trying to choose the best guided meditation, be sure to know the cost, subscription terms, type of meditation offered, etc.


Youtube has many meditation videos that you can watch before bed.

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Disadvantages of Youtube meditation

Free services such as Youtube may experience commercial breaks. Some meditation channels include ads in the middle of their videos. This can break your focus and make it difficult to meditate. If you choose options other than the above, choose one with a good meditation experience.


Using guided sleep meditations can help you avoid the sleep loss caused by mental health issues like anxiety and depression.Die BetterSleep-Apphas many meditation practices to choose from that are perfect for you at any time of the day. With time and consistency, guided meditation can help you move beyond these issues so that they no longer control your life.


Is 20 minutes meditation equal 4 hours sleep? ›

20 Minutes' Meditation Is Equivalent To 4-5 Hours Of Deep Sleep, Say Experts At Assocham's 'Illness To Wellness' Series.

Does sleep meditation help with anxiety? ›

Sleep meditation acts on the negative thoughts and emotions that may be causing anxiety or stress. When meditating, your focus is on breathing, physical sensations in the body, and remaining in the moment. It's essential to clear the mind of outside thoughts and do away with any distractions.

Can meditation fully replace sleep? ›

Research is showing that meditation can actually replace sleep. Instead of trying to work it into your regular day, you can try meditating in place of sleep. Meditation increases short term mental performance and reduces need for sleep.

How much meditation can replace sleep? ›

During meditation, the mind becomes quiet and the body needs less oxygen to function, hence, the rate of breath diminishes to a certain level. A study from Oregon State University's College of Business found that 10 minutes of meditation replaces 44 minutes of sleep.

How long should you meditate to get rid of anxiety? ›

Mindfulness-based clinical interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) typically recommend practicing meditation for 40-45 minutes per day. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) tradition often recommends 20 minutes, twice daily.

How long does meditation take to cure anxiety? ›

The above research implies that 13 minutes of meditation per session is enough to reap benefits. Still, regularity may be just as important. Practicing for 13 minutes once every few months isn't likely to yield as many benefits as practicing daily for 5 minutes.

How long does it take for meditation to get rid of anxiety? ›

How Long Should You Meditate to See Results? According to a 2018 study published in Behavioural Brain Research, meditating for 13 minutes a day for eight weeks led to decreased negative mood state, enhanced attention, working memory, recognition memory, and decreased state anxiety.

Why is anxiety worse at night? ›

Why Is Anxiety Worse at Night? Anxiety can get worse at night as people find themselves focusing more on their worries once they are lying in bed without the distractions of the day. For example, sometimes people with insomnia may begin to develop worries about whether or not they will be able to fall asleep.

What medication helps with sleep and anxiety? ›

Sedative hypnotics include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Xanax are anti-anxiety medications. They also increase drowsiness and help people sleep.

What is the sleep mantra for insomnia? ›

I am calm and still.” “Stillness of body breeds stillness of mind.” “Each breath relaxes me more.” “I welcome sleep into my mind and body.”

What is the most relaxing sound to fall asleep to? ›

7 Best Sounds to Help You Fall Asleep
  1. Classic white noise. ...
  2. Ocean waves. ...
  3. Raindrops and flowing water. ...
  4. Woods and wilderness. ...
  5. Relaxing music. ...
  6. Pink noise. ...
  7. Soothing voices.

What is the #1 app for meditation and sleep? ›

Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Join the millions experiencing better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety with our guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. Calm is recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts.

Is one hour meditation equal to sleep? ›

One hour of Yoga Nidra is as restful as a few hours sleep. In one study that scanned the brains of a group doing Yoga Nidra, researchers found that the brain was at once in a deep resting state similar to sleep, but completely conscious.

How many hours of meditation does it take to change the brain? ›

Previous studies have reported that MBSR, which involves 24-30 hours of meditation practice over two months, led to an increase in gray matter density—a measure of the amount of cortical grey matter in a given area — and gray matter volume—the total size of the grey matter— in several brain areas including the ...

How long does it take for your brain to change from meditation? ›

One study indicates that it takes up to 8 weeks for your brain to start seeing benefits from meditation. These benefits include improved focus, enhanced emotional regulation and control, and better decision-making.

Does meditation count as a nap? ›

Meditation is a way to exercise the unconscious mind, practice mindfulness and lessen anxieties. Although it's not as traditionally restful as a nap, a session of meditation is another valid way to refresh and revive – and a meditation habit has multiple benefits to both mood and productivity.

What are the signs of deep meditation? ›

During deep meditation, you lose track of time, breathe more slowly, and become less aware of yourself. When you realise that you can only remember some of what you did while meditating, your body is relaxed, and you forgot you were, it is a good sign that you are in a deep meditative state.

Can you overdo meditation? ›

Yes, you can meditate too much. Over-meditation poses adverse effects to some people; however, these cases are rare. Still, the key to enjoying meditation's cognitive and physical benefits lies in a healthy, regular, and sustainable practice.

How can I calm my anxiety fast? ›

How to calm down quickly
  1. Breathe. One of the best things you can do when you start to feel that familiar panicky feeling is to breathe. ...
  2. Name what you're feeling. ...
  3. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique. ...
  4. Try the “File It” mind exercise. ...
  5. Run. ...
  6. Think about something funny. ...
  7. Distract yourself. ...
  8. Take a cold shower (or an ice plunge)
Jun 22, 2021

Can meditation cure anxiety completely? ›

Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Can meditation cure overthinking? ›

Any type of meditation will help quiet overthinking, but mindfulness meditation is a particularly good place to start. To reduce negative thoughts, try just 10 minutes of meditation daily, sitting and observing your breath.

Why do I feel more anxious after meditation? ›

“Similar to attention-enhancing drugs like coffee, Ritalin and cocaine, meditation can increase focus and alertness,” says Britton. “But when taken too far that can lead to anxiety, panic and insomnia, because there is both neuroanatomical and neurochemical overlap between attention and arousal systems in the brain.

What happens if you meditate everyday? ›

Daily meditation can help you perform better at work! Research found that meditation helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask. Meditation helps clear our minds and focus on the present moment – which gives you a huge productivity boost. Lowers risk of depression.

Can meditation rewire an anxious brain? ›


Daily mindful meditation practice has been shown to produce measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. Studies have even documented changes in the brain's grey matter over time.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety? ›

Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm.

What will happen after 30 days of meditation? ›

Some of the things I noticed were: small increase in my ability to focus and ignore the distractions around me, moments of blissful peace which felt amazing in my hectically busy lifestyle and being able to control my mind and emotions better. These were probably the biggest changes I saw after 30 days of meditation.

How can I quiet my mind? ›

How to Quiet Your Mind
  1. Breathe. 1/14. We do this all the time, but to use your breathing to find stillness, be more careful and conscious about it. ...
  2. Watch Fish Swim. 2/14. ...
  3. Exercise. 3/14. ...
  4. Listen to Music. 4/14. ...
  5. Help Someone. 5/14. ...
  6. Go Outdoors. 6/14. ...
  7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation. 7/14. ...
  8. Hang Out With a Dog. 8/14.
Nov 30, 2022

How to fall asleep with anxiety? ›

Reading, listening to music, or relaxing before bed with a hot bath or deep breathing can help you get to sleep. If you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes of turning in (or if you wake up and can't fall back to sleep in 20 minutes), get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

Does anxiety get worse with age? ›

Anxiety disorders don't necessarily get worse with age, but the number of people suffering from anxiety changes across the lifespan. Anxiety becomes more common with older age and is most common among middle-aged adults.

What time of day is anxiety lowest? ›

For example, a recovery model would suggest that anxiety would diminish over time following a stressor such as sleep loss (Verkuil, Brosschot, & Thayer, 2014), thus anxiety may be highest in the morning and lowest in the evening.

What is an alternative to Xanax for sleep? ›

If you have insomnia, you may want to talk to your provider about a Xanax substitute like trazodone to help aid in sleep. It is a melatonin receptor agonist, which helps to balance chemicals in the brain.

What is the first drug of choice for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first-line treatment for anxiety. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. Common SNRI brands are Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR.

What are the 3 helpful hints to reduce insomnia? ›

Basic tips:
  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
  • Stay active. ...
  • Check your medications. ...
  • Avoid or limit naps. ...
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don't use nicotine. ...
  • Don't put up with pain. ...
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed.
Oct 15, 2016

Where is the pressure point for insomnia? ›

The recommended pressure points for improving sleep are: KD1 (the middle of the foot just behind the middle toe) SP6 (the inside of your lower leg, about four inches above the ankle) PC6 (the middle of your arm, about three inches from your hand)

How do I clear my mind for a good night sleep? ›

Breathe in, breathe out — repeat for a calm mind. Start with four breaths, breathing in through your nose for a count of four and out through your mouth for a count of eight. Cover your alarm clock, move your phone to the other room or put your smartwatch to sleep.

What color noise is best for anxiety? ›

What Color Noise Is Best For Anxiety? White noise can be one of the best colors to help with anxiety, especially if you have trouble sleeping at night. The steady drone of white noise is wonderful for insomnia. You may also want to try pink noise for the same ailments.

Is it better to sleep in silence or with noise? ›

Often, having a 'standby' sound keep your brain company as you fall asleep is better than silence because silence is more easily and effectively broken with random sounds. When you have sounds playing, the interruption is less noticeable and may not interrupt your sleep at all.

What is the most calming sound ever? ›

Top 5 Relaxing Sounds To Help You Focus
  • Silence. Well, this one seems like a no-brainer. ...
  • White noise. First of all, white noise has absolutely nothing to do with the color white. ...
  • Ocean sounds. Ever had time to listen to the sound of the waves at the beach? ...
  • Pink noise. ...
  • Raindrops.
Aug 10, 2022

Is there a completely free sleep app? ›

So you don't have to sacrifice money for sleep.
  • Tide. First up on our list of the best free sleep apps? ...
  • Relax Melodies. Over 30 million people have downloaded this app, and we've gotta say—it's popular for a reason. ...
  • Sleepo: Relaxing Sounds. ...
  • Insight Timer. ...
  • SnoreLab. ...
  • Sleep Cycle. ...
  • Pillow. ...
  • PrimeNap Sleep Tracker.
Dec 4, 2018

Are there any 100% free meditation apps? ›

1) Insight Timer

Insight Timer has a huge library of content: over 80,000 free guided meditations from over 10,000 teachers on topics like stress, relationships, healing, sleep, creativity, and more.

Is there an anxiety app to help sleep? ›

Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Sleep better, relieve stress, lower anxiety and refocus your attention. Explore an extensive library of guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathwork, exclusive music and stretching exercises.

What is the 15 minute rule sleep? ›

The 15 minute rule

This helps with associating your bed with sleep and has been found to be one of the most effective strategies to address long-term sleep difficulties. If, after 15 minutes, you find that you are not asleep, don't stay in bed. if you're still awake after another 15 minutes, get up again and repeat.

Does lying with eyes closed count as sleep? ›

Although resting with your eyes closed doesn't start up your REM cycle and allow you to clock in some sleep time, it does still provide some hefty benefits. Closing your eyes calms your mind and relaxes your muscles and organs. Many refer to it as “quiet wakefulness”.

What is the 4 7 8 sleep trick? ›

Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat the process three more times for a total of four breath cycles.

How much sleep does 10 minutes of meditation equal? ›

A new study, published in the Journal of Business Venturing, has claimed that 10 minutes of mindfulness practice each day has the same positive brain effects as 44 minutes of sleep per night.

What happens when you meditate for 20 minutes? ›

Science says listening to this meditation can help you make fewer mistakes. On days when you feel spacey, forgetful or tired at work, taking a 20-minute break to meditate could help you pay closer attention to tasks and ultimately make fewer mistakes, according to a new study out of Michigan State University.

Did Einstein sleep 10 hours a day? ›

It's common knowledge that sleep is good for your brain – and Einstein took this advice more seriously than most. He reportedly slept for at least 10 hours per day – nearly one and a half times as much as the average American today (6.8 hours).

What happens if you meditate for 5 minutes everyday? ›

Research has shown that just five minutes of meditation a day is enough to help clear the mind, improve mood, boost brain function, reduce stress, slow down the ageing process and support a healthy metabolism. Some days you may have more time, and other days you may have less.

Does 10 minutes make a difference in sleep? ›

The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes.

How long to meditate for anxiety? ›

Mindfulness-based clinical interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) typically recommend practicing meditation for 40-45 minutes per day. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) tradition often recommends 20 minutes, twice daily.

How meditation changed my face? ›

It improves your complexion, reduces wrinkles and slows down the aging process from the inside out. Meditation also lowers blood pressure and tension-related pain such as headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle aches and joint problems, making you look and feel younger.

What happens if you meditate 1 hour everyday? ›

Meditation is cleaning your brain in real-time

I might get goosebumps, but it feels good. Like a weight is lifted. I can sense my brain getting “lighter.” The best description I can come up with is “cleaning your mind in real time,” but it's enough to let me know it works.

How many minutes of meditation is enough? ›

If you're a beginner and looking to reduce stress, then 10 minutes should be enough. However, if you're looking to focus more on calmness and increased concentration, then up to 30 minutes might be better as you'll have time for some light stretches as well as breathing techniques.

How do I know if I'm meditating or sleeping? ›

While sitting and reading a book, your breathing rate is significantly lower. While sleeping, your breathing rate slows even more. And while meditating, your breathing rate can reach levels that are even deeper than sleep, where you're barely breathing at all.

What happens if you meditate for 24 hours? ›

Meditation and mindfulness completely reprogram your mind.

Both practices increase the blood flow to your brain, calm you down, and allow you to better handle stress. They also make your brain younger by increasing your brain's grey matter, and help your mind defragment its thoughts.

Does meditation rest the brain? ›

It can strengthen areas of your brain responsible for memory, learning, attention and self-awareness. The practice can also help calm down your sympathetic nervous system. Over time, mindfulness meditation can increase cognition, memory and attention.


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