My husband and I are pretty close and like to do many things together. But when he suggested we meditate together every night, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Me, meditate? My anxiety doesn’t let me concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time? I had too many memories of being stuck in a high school gym, on sweaty blue mats as a CD drowned in the background telling us all to take a deep breath in and then breathe out all of our stress. I couldn’t do it then with teenage-level stress and certainly couldn’t now, especially with all the stresses from the pandemic, parenting two toddlers, and a new career path.
Or so I thought.
While scrolling through social media one night, an ad popped up for a meditation app called, Balance. Great, I thought, even my ads want me to meditate. And just as I was about to swipe away, I saw they offered a year-long free trial. Emphasis on free.
With my husband, therapist, and even my social media ads on my case about meditating to help with sleep, I figured it was finally time to give it a try.
With my husband, therapist, and even my social media ads on my case about meditating to help with sleep, I figured it was finally time to give it a try. After all, I wasn’t a teen anymore. I had matured. If I couldn’t try something I didn’t like for a few minutes, how could I suggest my kids do the same?
The first time I tried meditating with the app, I fell asleep within five minutes, the next I used the longer program, and soon I started to use it for naps or after a particularly stressful day.
Here are four reasons why I like using an app for my sleep meditation practice.
1. The Features Help Me Focus
This particular app switches up meditation to make it less, well, boring, which was such a selling point to me. My favorite meditation involves an interactive scene walking in the forest, and the app vibrates my phone during certain parts of the narration making me feel like I am actually there. The interactive aspect holds my attention more than other sleep meditations I’ve tried before.
There are so many benefits of meditation, but focused attention is what helps you free your mind from the distractions that cause worry and stress. If you are able to focus, you can help decrease your stress, and that in turn can make it easier to sleep.
2. Tracking Progress and Preferences Encourages Me to Meditate More Frequently
I love being able to use the same meditation exercise every night if I want and also have the ability to try something new once in a while if I feel so inclined. A customizable app allows me to mark how I felt after each meditation.
It also keeps track of all the skills I’ve worked on and lets me “win” badges after reaching a streak for using the app 10 days in a row or completing plans. Having a record of my accomplishments makes using the app more enjoyable and makes me want to use it every night.
3. Pop-Up Reminders Keep Me Accountable
Being a mom of two who hasn’t quite gotten over mom-brain, I need as many reminders as possible. Having the app option for pop-up reminders on my phone makes me more likely to meditate every night despite my busy schedule.
4. Falling Asleep Now Happens Quickly
Meditation is a great addition to sleep routines, especially for busy moms who don’t have time to add in a relaxing bath, face mask, or complicated nine-step routine before bed. According to Healthline, meditation can help you sleep better because it can promote calmness that may reduce insomnia. Meditation can help improve your relaxation response, which may increase melatonin (a sleep hormone) naturally, reduce your heart rate, and even activate parts of the brain that control sleep.
These days, I wash my face, brush my teeth, and punch into my favorite interactive mediation. Half the time, my husband will be still brushing his teeth while I pass out holding my phone under my pillow as the meditation brings me into a calm walk through the forest, passing a warm fire, welcoming me into a sweet slumber.