Trouble Sleeping? Try this ‘Body Feeling’ Meditation from The London Meditation Centre

Are you having trouble sleeping at the mo? I’m finding I am, and lots of my friends are reporting the same. I think it’s something to do with seasons changing and also the realisation that OH MY GOODNESS we’re nearly half way through April! I start thinking of all the things I haven’t done, all the things I need to to and the wriggle I need to be getting on, pronto.

It’s not just difficulty in getting to sleep though. It’s how refreshed I feel in the morning and throughout the day. Even if I get in the recommended 7-8 hours per night, I’ll feel totally groggy when my alarm goes off and sluggish at various points throughout the day – particularly that 4pm crash (anyone else?).

I went to a terrific press morning with The London Meditation Centre. I was feeling at a low. After going through the break up of a 6 year relationship, I’d just finished running on adrenaline and I was crashing. I’d not been eating properly, I’d been going to bed at silly times like 3am and my mind was all over the place. I wanted to cry and fall asleep, simultaneously.

After the meditation, however, my heart slowed. My mind slowed. I couldn’t feel my body, in a good way. If I hadn’t been so aware of having my DMs on the bed (and the fact that the other journalists/bloggers were ‘Insta-storying’ it all), I’d have probably dropped and snored off for a few hours.

I definitely want to get into the habit of meditation. This body meditation seems like a brilliant ‘gateway’ into it, especially as it’s so instantly constructive, giving a better night’s sleep and getting me more in touch with my body. Here’s how you go about it:

Firstly, you need to start getting to bed earlier. I know how tricky this is in London, and I will never be able to get to sleep early every day. For starters, my dance class on Mondays finishes at 9pm!

However, if you can manage to get to sleep by 10pm at least some nights, your nervous system will thank you. Try to get ready when the light begins to fade, so you’re keeping in touch with your Circadian rhythm (getting to sleep when it’s dark & getting up with the light). Oh yes – that’s a good point – getting up early. I know I’m not the only model who, when faced with only one casting at 3pm, will think ‘hooray, lie-in!’. However getting to bed late and waking up late will just leave you feeling incredibly groggy and unrefreshed. An early bedtime and an early wake up is what we all want to aim for.

So here’s what we did in the class:

Sat up on the bed (you can sit cross legged, up in bed, on a chair – just don’t lie down as you’ll fall asleep!).

Have your hands resting on your thighs. Close your eyes.

Silently scan each part of your body. At this point I realised that my brow was furrowed, my eyes squinting and my legs tensed, my stomach breathing in. At each point in the scan I relaxed these, instantly calming my body.

You then just sit there, allowing your body to melt into the deep breathing. Don’t beat yourself up if you start thinking/composing shopping lists/getting stressed. Those parts are really important for making you realise how stressed and distracted you make yourself.

Afterwards – a few minutes, 20 – however much feels right to you, just try and keep the zen. maybe don’t check your phone. Get to sleep and, after doing this every day, you’ll notice you sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

The trickiest part is keeping it up! But hopefully the knowledge that you’re helping your body and mind, resting yoru nervous system, combating ageing stress and relaxing into the moments with people will be all the motivation you need.

If you’re wanting to learn more about meditation, The London Meditation Centre are the people you need to visit. They’ll give you your mantra, teach you about meditation and get you on the right path to doing it constructively and effectively – for life. What a tool to be armed with forever.

Head to londonmeditationcentre.com to find out more about classes, open days, courses and more.

Rebecca x

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