Do you often lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling and tossing and turning from right to left? Or do you wake up way too early and in a panic? If the answer is yes, then you are in good company. Many people suffer from sleep disorders and have “forgotten” how to sleep properly. According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute, around 25% of all Germans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. A peaceful and deep sleep is extremely important for the health and performance of the body and mind.

Just a few decades ago, modern medicine and science did not even consider meditation as a serious healthcare method. However, there has been more and more research at this level in recent years. One area of ​​particular interest to science and medicine is the effect of meditation on sleep. Recently published studies provide solid evidence of the positive effects of meditation on peaceful sleep.

Meditation and sleep

A study by Professor Black (University of South Carolina) showed a significant improvement in sleep quality in adults who completed a simple meditation program. The participants in the study had significantly fewer problems with insomnia, fatigue and depression than the control group, which was not subjected to a meditation program. The positive effects appeared after just six weeks!

One effect of regular meditation that leads to better sleep is the body's so-called relaxation response. This is the exact opposite of the body's stress response. It can therefore counteract many stress-related ailments, such as depression, pain and high blood pressure. These problems are often the reason for insomnia.

When meditating, for example, you focus on your breath, bringing your thoughts back to the present moment. This interrupts the constant flow of worries and fears about the past and the future. In this way, the body's relaxation response can be evoked. You don't have to be an experienced yogi or Buddhist monk. No complicated methods are necessary either. The important thing is to focus on the present.

The meditation technique for better sleep

Dr. Benson of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind and Body Medicine (Havard University) recommends meditating for 20 minutes daily. This is enough to significantly improve the quality of sleep. The idea behind it is to create a “relaxation reflex”. You can trigger this at night when you can't sleep again. He suggests the following simple method, which can easily be carried out at any time of day and in any place:

Step 1: Focus on something relaxing

This can be, for example, breathing, a positive word (e.g. “peace”), a simple sentence (“I am relaxed”) or a certain sound (“Om”). Repeat the word (sentence/sound) quietly or loudly while breathing in a relaxed manner.

Step 2: Let go and relax

Don't worry about whether you're doing the meditation right or wrong. Just relax for 20 minutes. If you notice that your thoughts are starting to wander, bring your focus back to your word (sentence/tone/etc.).


Black et al. (2015): Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disorders: a randomized clinical trial.

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