You Can’t Force Yourself to Sleep Well—Try this Sleep Meditation, Instead

Striving for sleep makes sleep more challenging. Try this guided meditation to help you settle down and drift off. Stock

Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re like many of us, your answer is no. All day it’s go, go, go, then at night, when we mean to shut down, it’s not so easy. Eventually, the paradox of sleep worry kicks in: Thinking about sleep gets in the way of sleep. And not getting the rest we crave can be quite painful and can exacerbate other health problems.

As with pretty much anything health-related, we may know better, but we don’t stick to what we’d tell our best friend: Keep to a regular bedtime and a consistent routine, and avoid whatever disrupts sleep, like caffeine, alcohol, and screens. Not that complicated, but what’s often hardest is what’s frustratingly out of our full control. Even following solid advice, sometimes we suffer through rotten nights, feeling anxious or struggling to settle ourselves.

We have nothing but empathy for a friend with insomnia, yet as we lie awake in the dark we may not give ourselves the same degree of care. A good place to start, then, might be an adapted version of Kristin Neff’s self-compassion practice: Breathing in, say to yourself, My trouble falling asleep is a moment of suffering. Breathing…