How Meditation Improves Sleep and Reduce Anxiety for Learning

Published by Klint Ciriaco on

Credit: Chikilino

I thought people who meditated were weird (I still think some of them are). 

The woo-woo spirituality about meditation is off-putting. If you heard some of the following in your sessions, wouldn’t you be turned off, too? 

“Allow the warmth of the earth to enter your body.” How does that even work?

“Let the energy of the universe surround you.” What energy? 

“Align your chakra.” Huh? 

Thankfully, a gentleman named Andy Puddicombe was born into this earth and made an awesome meditation app. He guides you through the sessions, but he strips away the spiritual stuff.  

You can watch his Ted Talk here if you prefer video. Otherwise, here’s an explanation of how it works. Let’s start with the relation between thoughts and emotions. 

Our thoughts are chained together with emotions. So when you remember a painful time in your life, negative emotions accompany it. This causes some people to spiral out of control. Next thing they know, it’s 3am and they’re still not asleep. 

In my case, thinking of the past made me feel regretful; worrying about the future gave me anxiety. Before meditation, it felt like my thoughts were viciously drowning me. 

How does meditation help? It’s the chainsaw that cuts the connection between thoughts and emotions. You’ll get relief from your mind if you practice enough. 

I’ve clocked over 500 meditation sessions at the time of this writing and the demons in my head don’t bother me as much anymore. But, the first 30 days weren’t easy. 

I remember one of my earliest sessions. I sat on the couch, closed my eyes, and then… bam. A barrage of negative thoughts came rushing in. 

I was in the middle of a storm in my head, but for the first time, I could fight back thanks to the meditation techniques I was learning. 

Did the monsters completely go away? Nope. They’re still lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce. But, I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten stronger to fend them off. 

Here’s the problem: I’m a constant learner and experimenter which involves getting hurt from all kinds of disappointments, frustrations, and regrets. This leads to anxiety and the inability to sleep sometimes. 

My solution is to keep sharpening the mind.  

If you’re still reading, I have an inkling that you want what I have. So, here’s how to get started. It’s not sexy advice, but sexy is overrated anyway. 

Step 1, download Headspace on your phone. 

Step 2, go through the 10 day lessons. 

Step 3, after 10 days, practice on your own using a timer or with an app called Insight. 

Or, sign-up for this guy’s meditation program if you want something beefier for performance. I get commission if you purchase his program through my link, so big thank you if you do: 

I hope I didn’t scare you because I make it sound like meditating is terrible. I know I use analogies like storms, demons, and monsters. But, the truth is that it’s actually fun. It’s “painful” but it’s also relaxing. It’s hard to explain. 

That said, you’ll find yourself unwilling to practice sometimes. My advice? Just start anyway. If you assume your position and close your eyes, it’ll only take seconds for you to get in the groove. 

My hope is for you to gain the skill to turn your brain off in bed because you deserve a good night’s sleep. You just have to fight for it. Yes, your thoughts can be vicious. But, meditation can help you bury them so you can dream in peace.

-Klint