A young man lies in bed awake, the screen from his phone illuminating his face.
Centr Team

4 meditations for anxiety and sleep

Centr Team

You’re tossing. You’re turning. You’re desperate for sleep that just won’t come. Sound familiar?

Roughly two in three people worldwide feel they aren’t getting enough sleep, and overactive brains and intrusive thoughts can be a big part of the problem.

When you’re wide awake at 3am, it can feel like you’ll never sleep again. But the good news is there are simple tools that can set our bothered brains straight.

Is anxiety your nightly companion?

If you struggle with anxiety, you’re not alone.

About 30 percent of American adults said they dealt with anxiety in 2023, making it one of the most common mental-health concerns in the United States. And all that anxiety is getting in the way of our body’s favorite way to refresh, repair and recharge – quality sleep.

An infographic showing the sleep anxiety cycle.

Are you stuck in a sleep-anxiety spiral?

Our founder Chris Hemsworth knows the struggle.

“According to my brain, the perfect time to start running through a checklist of every single thing I’ve ever worried about is the exact instant my head hits the pillow,” he says.

It’s a tough spot to find yourself in, but tools like meditation and breathwork can be incredibly effective for neutralizing anxiety and helping you sleep.

We’ve got 4 audio tools to help you say goodnight to bedtime anxiety and finally get some rest.

A perfectly-raked zen garden seen from above, symbolising a calm and anxiety-free mind.

1. Calm your worried mind

Is your mind working overtime? Do you find yourself fixated on an earlier faux pas? A joke that didn’t land at work, perhaps, or the time you went for a hug and they went for a handshake. Ruminating thoughts – no matter how trivial – are a surefire way to ruin a good night’s sleep.

This meditation, narrated by Chris, uses the power of repetition to reduce activity in the cerebral cortex (the part of your brain that does the overthinking) and features slow-wave music that mimics the brain patterns of deep sleep to help you chill.

A bed with tousled sheets, suggesting the occupant has been unceremoniously roused from their sleep.

2. Go back to sleep

There are few things more frustrating than waking in the middle of the night and being unable to get back to sleep.

If you find yourself wide awake and worrying, this meditation uses a 4-7-8 breathing technique as a natural tranquilizer to help you drift back to dreamland. The 4-7-8 method has been used in yogic traditions for centuries to calm the body and induce relaxation, and research has shown it can be more effective than standard deep breathing for reducing anxiety.

Raindrops falling on a lush, green garden, with plants poking through a fence.

3. Lush garden rain

At the end of a long day, our minds will often jump around or become distracted by an all-too-familiar internal buzz – your to-do list, perhaps, or the witty comeback you’ve thought up five hours too late.

Studies have shown that natural pink noise – like this lush garden rain – can have a calming effect on the brain. Try it the next time you’re hearing that mental chatter. At the very least, the rain will stifle the sound of any nearby traffic or your partner’s snoring.

Centr trainer Tahl Rinsky kneels with her eyes closed while performing a relaxing breathwork session.

4. Take a breath before bed

Before cosying up under the covers, it’s important to leave the busy day behind and enter a calm state that’ll help you shift into sleep mode.

This bedtime breathwork session is designed to help you activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This network of nerves is all about resting and digesting, and tapping into it will slow your heart rate and induce a state of relaxation.

Looking for more evidence-based sleep advice?


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