If you're struggling to sleep, the advice you'll see crop up time and time again is to establish a sense of calm to help you drop off. Ditching your phone, reading, or meditating are all commonly recommended methods to break the insomnia cycle.
Just like reading, it might seem safe to assume that meditating is best done before bed, in order to become zen enough to banish your anxieties just long enough to allow you to fall asleep. But according to Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, you might actually be better off doing your meditation in the morning.
Meditating in the morning? To help you get to sleep at night? It doesn't sound like the obvious solution. But hear him out.
Achieving sleep when it's something you struggle with, Andy tells Cosmopolitan, requires "feeling less anxious about going to sleep, and being able to create the conditions where the mind can let go and drift off to sleep more easily." And it's exactly this line of thinking that supports his suggestion to meditate in the a.m.
"I think doing [meditation] first thing in the morning, one, ensures that you do it. Two, you start the day fresh, and three, you lay down a foundation of mindfulness that means that you are more likely to make mindful decisions throughout the day, and are more likely to experience that quality of life throughout the day," the meditation and mindfulness expert explains.
By laying down that foundation of mindfulness, Andy believes your mind becomes all-round calmer throughout the day—and that can spill over into your ability to drop off.
Part of the issue with insomnia is the cycle you get yourself tangled in; you can't fall asleep, so you feel anxious about not falling asleep...which prevents you from falling asleep. And so it continues. By meditating first thing in the morning, the Headspace founder believes we become better equipped to tackle situations like that better.
"It doesn't mean that you won’t come across difficult situations, you will. But I think it means that you are less likely to react to them," he tells Cosmopolitan. If you're less likely to wind yourself up about your difficulty sleeping, then you've got a chance to break the cycle. Makes sense, huh?
Meditating, Andy explains, gives you "the ability to experience everything but to then let go of it. It's not about shutting ourselves away from the world; it's still experiencing everything but not necessarily being so overwhelmed by it."
If you could do with becoming a little less overwhelmed by your sleep/anxiety pattern, then maybe some morning meditation is just what you need.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.