Is this VERY simple meditation the secret to a great night’s sleep? Expert claims five-step ritual will induce healing ‘sattvic’ rest (and you’ll wake bursting with energy)
- Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, from London, has been a sleep therapist for 25 years
- She says acceptance meditation has a large impact on the quality of our sleep
- This involves reciting a simple mantra and practicing loving self-acceptance
There’s nothing better than getting a good night’s sleep. The type where you wake up feeling refreshed and raring for the day ahead.
In fact, we’re designed to spend a third of our lives sleeping so getting your head down really is vital. But if like us, you’re tired of tossing and turning all night, or worse still, feeling like you’ve blinked and your alarm has gone off for work the next morning, it turns out there’s a pretty simple solution.
While research has proven that meditation can help to reduce stress and minimise anxiety, according to Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, certain types can also improve the quality of our sleep, as well as our mood during waking hours.
In her book The Little Book of Sleep, Dr Nerina details a simple five-step ‘acceptance’ meditation that she says will lull the user into an emotionally and physically healing ‘sattvic’ sleep.
Sweet dreams: While research has proven that meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says ‘acceptance meditation’ can have a large impact on the quality of our sleep
The London-based physiologist has appeared on numerous national TV and radio programmes to share her expertise with the world. She says the history of insomnia goes back to the time of our earliest ancestors because ‘they lived in a world that was so unsafe that it might have been dangerous to pass out for seven or eight hours on a mat of leaves’
THE FIVE-STEP MEDITATION TO HELP YOU NOD OFF
1. Lie down on your bed and relax. Enjoy the sensation of being supported, the smell and feel of your bed linen.
2. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath.
3. Bring your attention to your feet, saying: ‘I love my right foot. I love my toes. I love my right instep. I love my right ankle. I love the top of my right foot. I love my left foot.’
4. Continue to work your way up your body, acknowledging your love for every part of you.
Be sure to say this meditation very slowly and very gently, as if you’re speaking to baby. There’s no rush. And, if you fall asleep and then awaken, start all over again from your feet.
Dr Nerina, who has been a professional physiologist and sleep therapist for 25 years, explains that her ‘simple’ ritual consists of reciting a mantra and practicing the art of self-acceptance.
The physiologist, who has dedicated her career to helping people sleep, says that those who follow her simple steps will be rewarded with something called ‘sattvic’ sleep – the kind that allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and filled with energy to face the day ahead.
According to Dr Nerina, this form of meditation has two major benefits – not only will it help lull you to sleep but will also help you to feel better about yourself.
‘Being hard on yourself stops you letting go; it stops you feeling at ease and accepting rest and deep sleep,’ the expert explains in her book.
‘Practicing loving self-acceptance is an important step towards a good night’s sleep.’
WHAT IS SATTVIC SLEEP?
Dr Nerina says the ‘acceptance’ meditation promotes sattvic sleep
Sattva is Sanskrit for light, goodness and purity, and is one of the three virtues in Hindu philosophy; alongside tamas (a state of inactivity), and rajas (a state of energy).
As such sattva refers to anything that has natural qualities of purity and goodness.
It also can refer to an emotional or mental state in which the mind is at peace.
Far from tossing and turning through the night and waking exhausted, sattvic sleep will leave you deeply rested.