My sleep was affected when I was struggling with long distance care of my elderly parents, and it was a huge relief to discover the Insight Timer app and meditation for sleep.
And it was reassuring to know that if I woke up worrying in the early hours I could switch on a meditation to take my mind off the problems that are always so nightmarish at that time of night.
The Insight Timer app is free and claims to be ‘the top free meditation app on the Android and iOS stores’, used by more than three and a half million people. You can simply use the timer for your chosen time and pick a sound to indicate the end.
Or there’s a huge selection of different meditations that you can choose according to the time you have (a few minutes to over thirty minutes) and the type of practice you want. As well as meditation for sleep, there are morning meditations for starting your day, for the time of year, for dealing with issues like confidence, forgiveness and mindfulness. Plus music, sounds, talks, anything you could need.
Under each meditation are reviews from users (I don’t find these particularly helpful because this is such a personal matter) and if the contributor has other meditations on the app these are listed too. So if you find someone whose voice and style you like you can easily find their other meditations.
The app tracks your practice, so you can see how many consecutive days you have meditated and other statistics, if that’s important to you.
I can’t think of anything much more private than meditation so I was startled to find there is a community, but that’s a typical introvert response! As soon as you open the app you see a world map showing where people are meditating right now and you can see those in your immediate area. If you wish you can connect with friends and see what they are meditating to.
The app has been hugely helpful to me and the only downside is that it’s apparently not good to have a phone next to you while you sleep. I never feel like getting out of bed after finishing meditation for sleep. Perhaps a nest of cushions on the other side of the room to throw the phone into would do the trick.