#4 of 10 Good Reasons to Meditate (according to science): Sleep
#4 Better sleep
It is now well established that a good night sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind (see the recent book "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker). It turns out that sleep is enhanced by meditation. Not only does it help prepare the body for sleep by relaxing the body and reducing anxiety and stress, it also has been demonstrated to reduce insomnia.
To site just one example, a Harvard study looked at 49 adults who had difficulty sleeping. They divided the participants into two groups. One group did a mindfulness awareness course and the other group did course focused on sleep education (e.g. teaching them ways to improve their sleep habits.) All participants met once a week for two hours for the six week duration of the study. The results? The people in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression than the ones that had simply learned about how to improve their sleep habits.
Matthew Walker's book is an excellent introduction to the subject. Also, there are a number of sleep-related guided meditations on the Serena Meditation podcast.