Can You Meditate Lying Down in Bed?

Last Updated on June 17, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

The benefits of meditation—like improving creativity and boosting self esteem—are nearly endless. But here at GhostBed, we're most interested in what meditation can do for your sleep.

The good news is regular meditation may help you calm down and drift off. So it pays to incorporate a little mindfulness into your routine. To keep things simple, you can even meditate lying down in bed.

How to Meditate in Bed

Meditation can calm your mind and body for better sleep when you're ready to hit the hay. But technically, you're not supposed to fall asleep while you're meditating.

We're pro‐sleep at GhostBed, so we say more power to you if you've found a reliable way to drift off. But if you want to meditate by the book, you'll need to be mindful of staying alert.

For that reason, the biggest factors to consider while meditating in bed are your posture and position.

Can You Meditate Lying Down in Bed?

The answer is yes, you absolutely can meditate lying down. Some folks even believe it's beneficial because it elongates your spine and promotes energy flow.

Lying down can be especially conducive to certain types of meditation, like body scans and diaphragmatic breathing.

Plus, sometimes meditating lying down is unavoidable. Maybe you're sick, have an injury that makes sitting up painful or you're simply exhausted.

If that's the case, you can still do your best to stay alert while lying down with the following tricks:

  • Bend your knees with your feet hip‐width apart.
  • Bend your arms at the elbow with your hands pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Make sure you're lying on your back and your head is supported with a pillow.
  • If you prefer, you can also use a wedge, bolster or blankets and pillows to elevate your body on an incline.

Experiment to see what feels best for your unique body as you meditate.

Is it Bad to Meditate Lying Down?

Lying down to meditate is not bad. Mindfulness can be practiced in any posture, including walking, standing, sitting and lying down.

That said, if you're lying down on a gel memory foam mattress while you meditate, chances are you're going to conk out.

If you find that you're unintentionally drifting off every time you meditate lying down, try sitting up in bed.

This is easiest if you have an adjustable base to prop you up, but you can also use dense pillows to support your body.

Seated Meditation Posture

If you choose to sit up in bed, here's the proper way to position yourself:

  1. If it's comfortable, cross your legs. Sitting cross‐legged is relaxing, but it requires a little effort from your body to stay stable and upright. This helps you remain alert. (If crossing your legs hurts your knees, hips, or back, please don't push yourself through the pain! Sit in whatever manner is comfortable for your body.)
  2. Close your eyes or shift to an “unfocused gaze.” The most common way to meditate is with your eyes closed, but some folks don't feel comfortable with that—and that's okay! You can also use an “unfocused gaze.” To do this, allow the muscles around your eyes to relax and soften your gaze on something straight in front of you. (Don't overthink it!)

Meditation Step‐by‐Step

Once you get into a comfortable position, meditating in bed is just like meditating anywhere else. Here's how to do it:

  1. Tune into your breath. Begin by drawing attention to your inhales and exhales. You don't need to breathe differently than you normally do; just pay attention to what you're doing. If you have trouble focusing on your breath, try noticing the feeling of air entering and leaving your nostrils or the rise and fall of your chest.
  2. Notice your thoughts as they come up. Here's one truth about meditation: your mind will wander. Pulling your focus away from your thoughts and back to your breath is what meditation is all about! With time, you'll find your thoughts drift a little less.
  3. Do a body scan. If following your breath isn't your jam, you can also do a body scan. To do this meditation practice, you can begin at your head or your toes. It's up to you. Tune into the sensation (or lack thereof) you're feeling in every body part. Don't forget smaller parts like your eyes, tongue and jaw. Sometimes we hold the most tension in these spots.

The goal of a body scan is not to change anything about your current experience. Noticing tightness in your stomach, for example, may lead you to unclench your muscles, but that's not a requirement of the practice.

Woman meditating in lotus position.

Benefits of Meditating in Bed for Sleep

As we've mentioned, meditation is not meant to put you to sleep. (Although sometimes it does happen this way!) Instead, you can think of your meditation practice like a healthy workout routine.

You wouldn't expect to fall asleep in the middle of your 5‐mile run, but you know running releases stress and regulates your body in ways that help you fall asleep later in the day. It's a similar story to meditation.

For example, Evan, one of our GhostBed team members, meditates to stay present and focused on what's important, but he's noticed that when he's in that state, he sleeps better too.

This is in part thanks to the effects meditation has on the hormones that regulate sleep. A regular mindfulness practice reduces cortisol, elevates melatonin and balances serotonin, putting you in the optimal state for a good snooze.

Boost Your Benefits With Massage

For many people, meditating (in or out of bed) can be an important puzzle piece to getting a good night of sleep. But it may not be enough on its own to help you drift off.

While meditation relaxes your mind, your body may still be wound up from a stressful day, preventing you from getting shut‐eye. This is where the GhostBed Massage can help.

The only mattress of its kind, the GhostBed Massage uses soft, flexible air cells to gently stretch and massage your entire body, helping you release pent‐up tension. Combined with meditation, it's likely to help you fall asleep in record time. It's the level-up for your wellness routine you don't want to skip.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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