Today, one in three people have difficulty in sleeping or have a disturbed sleep resulting in poor performance, affected health and strained relationships. Poor sleep may be due to stress, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, indigestion, cough, itch, body pain etc. In such a situation, relaxation techniques can help you in achieving deep, restorative sleep. They help you to quieten your mind and relax your body. Some of the most popular relaxation techniques to induce sleeping are:-
Deep Breathing Exercise
Closing your eyes and taking time to breathe slowly and mindfully can do wonders in destressing both mind and body. This yoga breathing differs from normal breathing. With your mind devoid of any thoughts and focused sharply on the breathing pattern, you breathe in slowly and hold it for about 10 seconds. Then you slowly exhale the air out. Initially the mind tends to wander and one has to gently direct it back to the breathing pattern. This exercise relaxes the muscles, slows down the heart rate as well as the respiratory rate and eases tension away from mind and body. This needs to be done in a lying position daily for about 5-10 minutes.
Guided Imagery Exercise
The basis of this exercise is to divert the mind from all stressing and worrying thoughts and focus the on pleasing and calming images or stories. Once you get comfortable in the bed, you need to close your eyes and relax. Now you need to imagine a place, an activity, story, scene etc that is calming and pleasurable for you. It is a highly individual exercise as different things calm different persons. Focus on detailing it and giving it as much life as possible. This exercise requires time and patience and soon you would find yourself sleeping while still halfway in the exercise.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Also referred to as Jacobson’s or ‘deep muscles relaxation,’ this technique involves relaxing all the tensing group of muscles throughout the body, one by one. You may need to consult a doctor before doing it if you suffer from muscle spasms, back problems, or other serious injuries. You start with the toes and then gradually work your way to the top of the head. Taking deep breaths, a particular group of muscles is tensed as tightly as possible before relaxing them completely. This technique can be learnt through a course or using audio visual training from the net. So far, this exercise has given fantastic results.
Stretching, listening to music, reading a light book, meditating etc are some other exercises which induce sleep. These techniques, though not difficult, require regular practice and soon you may find yourself saying goodbye to sleeplessness.