Sleep-Inducing Relaxation Techniques
If your mind is racing and causing sleeplessness, relaxation techniques can help you to escape from the challenges of everyday life.
- Visualization is a technique in which you form mental images that take you on a journey to a peaceful, calming place. Close your eyes and use as many senses as you can. For example, imagine sitting by the ocean, enjoying the sound of crashing waves, the warmth of the sun on your body, the smell of the salt water — and let your troubles float away.
- Progressive muscle relaxation involves slowly tensing and relaxing each muscle group, helping you become more aware of physical sensations. Starting at your toes, tense your muscles for five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence several times, moving slowly up your body until you are relaxed enough to fall asleep.
- Deep breathing and taking slow deep breaths also sends signals to the brain that you are calm, which in turn can slow down your heart rate and nervous activity. Inhale through your nose (allows your body to process the air more efficiently) and allow the belly to move outward. As the abdomen moves out, room is created for the diaphragm to drop. Then exhale through the nose and let the belly move inward so the diaphragm presses up. Make each breath a little slower.
Everyone is different, so experiment with various relaxation techniques until you find the ones that help you unwind and get a good night’s sleep.