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Counting Sheep
Here’s what happened when we tried 30 days of sleep meditation.
By Bee Creel

Meditation is non-negotiable when it comes to my everyday routine. Most of the time, it means dragging my meditation cushion out from under my living room couch and onto the tiny bit of floor space I have in my New York City apartment. From there, I pull out my smartphone, launch the Calm app, and listen to the Daily Calm—a 10-minute guided meditation that changes every day.

I’ve been using this app for more than a year and have found that holding myself accountable for meditating 10 minutes a day is what’s realistic, and it has had a noticeable impact on my life. I can always count on learning something new and finding my center in 10 minutes flat. I feel more grounded, and I’m less likely to react to annoyances such as a pushy New Yorker or a late subway train.

My energy level was a different story. I don’t often struggle to fall asleep, but even after a restful seven to eight hours of shuteye, fatigue would creep up on me throughout the day. I’d find myself fighting the urge to curl up for a 20-minute nap. Sometimes I’d go for a quick hit of energy—pounding a pint of water or dancing around my living room—after a long day of work and before teaching an evening yoga class. I started to wonder: Was my quality of slumber lacking? And could guided sleep meditation help?

Generally speaking, this type of meditation means listening to an audio recording before bed that’s intended to help you notice the sensations of your body so you can relax and release worrying thoughts. By learning to shift your focus before bed, you reduce the impact of nagging thoughts and tension and improve your ability to fall—and stay—asleep.

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November - December 2019

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