Best Bedtime Body Scan Meditation For Sleep

A woman laying in bed performing body scan meditation

Ever feel like you just can’t relax when you lay down in bed? You’ve tried sleep supplements, staying off your phone, and breathing techniques, but you just can’t relax? Keep reading or skip to our guided meditation below.

Well, we might just have the solution for you…

Try our 2 minute Guided Body Scan Meditation!

A Body Scan Meditation for Better Sleep

A man meditating in a comfortable modern bed.

You might be wondering how something called a “body scan” can help with sleep. A body scan is a method of mindfulness meditation that brings your attention to your body sensations in the present moment.

A bedtime body scan is one of the best mindfulness practices to help you with falling asleep. Want to try, but don’t know where to start? Then keep reading!

Try our guided body scan meditation

Step 1: Get comfortable

A woman getting comfortable, propped up by her pillow.

It is incredibly important to get this first step correct. After your body scanning is complete, you are going to be ready for a good night’s sleep, and you won’t want to move after.

Most people prefer to practice in their bed, but if there’s somewhere else you’d like to try, go for it! Remember, your surrounding environment is also a major part of your comfort. Make sure it is comfortable also. If you’re looking for tips on this, check out our self care gift guide.

Now sit or lay down, breathe gently, and get ready to start your bedtime body scan!

Step 2: Bring awareness to your body, starting with the toes

A person mindfulness meditating with a circular light behind them.

With your body lying down in a comfortable position, you should always begin by bringing awareness to your feet/toes first.

Notice the sensations present. Maybe there are tingling sensations on the bottom of your toes or feet. Or perhaps a subtle ache from a long day of standing.

Whatever the sensation, pay close attention and notice how it feels in the present moment.

Step 3: Gradually “scan” up the body

A woman performing a body scan through mindfulness meditation.

Once you feel that you are aware of all the sensations in your feet, gently scan up the body towards your head. I like to go to my left calf, then right calf, then work my way up to my left hip, then right hip, and finally up towards my left shoulder and right shoulder.

As you reach your shoulders, move down your arm. Notice your bicep, forearm, then your hand. Oftentimes, our shoulders, arms, and hands hold a large portion of the tension in our bodies.

A woman laying in bed, comforted by her pillows.

You may even fall asleep during this step. Many times when I do a body scan, I don’t even get up to my shoulders before passing out.

Step 4: Work slowly and repeat if necessary

A person meditating with an alluring light behind them.

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to body scanning. There is no reason to try to body scan too fast. Imagine scanning your body at the same speed as slow, peaceful clouds floating across the sky.

Body scan helps you fall into a deep sleep quickly, but you may have to repeat a time or two. This is okay and is normal for mindful meditations. Just continue to focus on your body’s sensations and enjoy your deep sleep when it inevitably comes.

A man laying in bed with a singular light bulb lighting the area.

If you prefer, after the first scan you can change it up with an up and down movement of scanning. A pre-recorded guided meditation can help improve the quality of your meditation, also.

Evidence That It Works

A man meditating in a creek.

Body scan has been shown to reduce stress hormones. It can lower cortisol and increase DHEA, which leads to lower stress levels and ultimately better mental health. Best of all, you can do a bedtime body scan every time your head hits the pillow.

It’s amazing how many obvious sensations you notice during a body scan, that you wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. Not only is it a recipe for deep sleep, but it is a vital step in your journey of mindfulness education.

Why Body Scan is Great for Beginners

Man meditating at the foot of his bed.

A question I always get from those just beginning to meditate is, “what should I think about when I meditate?” Well, body scanning solves that problem right away. It is a quick, easy, and pain-free way to gain more awareness of your body feelings and sensations.

Also, this genre of mindful meditation contains some of the most readily available guided meditation resources on the internet. It also has a very clear goal when used in the context of this article – to fall into a deep sleep!

A Great Daily Meditation

Body scan in bed.

The one piece of advice that I always give beginners is to do some form of short (<5 min) meditation each day. This allows you to commit to working on mindfulness every day without worrying about super long sessions. Committing to a bedtime body scan is a perfect way to get started in this realm.

So, close the computer, throw on a guided meditation, and get started with a bedtime body scan tonight!

A man sleeping comfortably.

Check out our TikTok on Body Scan Meditation!

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