Sleep is an essential component of good mental health, and trouble sleeping can be a symptom of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions, as well as simply resulting from stress.

While there are medication options, they don’t offer the revitalization of natural sleep. Sedation doesn’t mimic normal sleep and can interfere with the REM stage of dreaming, which is important to feel refreshed in the morning. Often, there’s a “hangover effect” of grogginess the next day. Sleeping pills are also addictive and should be used with caution, infrequently.

A good alternative is a guided meditation to ease you into relaxation and soothe you to sleep. This video is one of the best free options I’ve found.

It features a calming male voice easing you into progressively deeper stages of relaxation leading into sleep, along with the peaceful sounds of ocean waves on a beach (and a bit of ambient music at the beginning).

Along with my own successful experience, I’ve shared this video on my Twitter account @unsuicide and people have told me it’s effective for them as well. Tonight, give it a try and see how it works for you.