Sleep and me? Let’s just say we have a complicated relationship. I’ve tried gravity blankets, sleep drinks, magical lotion, digital lamps, futuristic bracelets…you name it, I’ve probably given it a go. I’ve had some success with melatonin supplements and lowering the temperature in my bedroom, but with a busy work schedule and three weeks and counting before my wedding, I can’t even remember the last time I got six straight hours of sleep.
So I was intrigued (and relieved) when I found “Beditations,” a collection of guided nighttime meditations by Latham Thomas—a doula, best-selling author and creator of the holistic lifestyle community Mama Glow. By meditating for a few minutes every night, Thomas promises us that you will “become grounded in your resting state and soar in your waking life.” Sounds like a plan, Latham.
On especially stressful nights, I’m guilty of listening to podcasts (or, um, Full House reruns) to drown out my thoughts as I fall asleep—and surprise, it’s never been especially helpful. So for two weeks, I played a Beditation on my phone as I snuggled in bed instead. And while traditional meditation tends to make me feel fidgety and restless, the combo of lying down with Thomas’s soothing voice completely distracted me from the task at hand (i.e., falling asleep).
The first half of the “Beditations” album is a loving, self-care boot camp for poor sleepers, talking us through everything from the best sheets (breathable, organic cotton) to the ideal atmosphere to help you unwind before bed (a well-ventilated room and no screens—sorry, Uncle Jesse). The next half of the series is split into two parts: physical body Beditations, which focus on body scans and releasing tension, and spiritual Beditations, which are a metaphysical, almost hypnotic experience. While I hope to eventually fully immerse myself in the headier stuff, I found myself going back to the physical body Beditations because I hold tension in my shoulders and sometimes wake up with headaches.
The verdict after two weeks? Instead of stressing on getting to sleep as fast as possible and worrying that it isn’t happening as quickly as I’d like, my Beditations practice has helped me understand sleep as a gentle healing process to nurture my body. By “surrendering to self-care,” as Thomas puts it, I began to lay the groundwork for a restful, productive night’s sleep, rather than knocking myself out with a quick fix. Will Beditations put you to sleep instantly? Maybe not. But will it help you see your sleep routine in a whole new light? Definitely.