Relaxation Techniques To Help You Sleep Better

Relaxation techniques to help you sleep better

Much of the time, stress and anxiety are like horses racing through nights of insomnia. You probably want to keep it all under control and turn off the rumbling in your head and the tension in your body. One of the best ways to do that is by using relaxation techniques to help you sleep better. They are simple and effective. They are also well worth applying every night before going to bed.

Sleep health experts are trying to warn us that we are all getting less and less sleep. Some say it all started with the industrial revolution. Other people say it has come because of electronic devices and the Internet. But according to research, the main cause of sleep deprivation is actually just work. The pressure to be productive, complicated work relationships and constant worries about keeping your job cause huge problems for our night’s sleep.

One thing you should never forget is that any change in the circadian rhythm of your sleep will bring with it a torrent of problems. Your memory, attention, learning and even your mood can feel the effects of a bad night’s sleep.

You should also not forget that we as a society are already sleeping less and less. There is an interesting article about this in Psychology Today. The problem is, though, it  seems like no one actually realizes how tired they really are.

It’s something to stop and think about.

exhausted woman

Relaxation techniques to help you sleep better

Are you getting too little sleep? If so, it’s best to use relaxation techniques to help you sleep better. These simple breathing exercises, meditation, and progressive relaxation techniques have been shown to be really helpful for getting a good night’s sleep. But it’s also worth noting that there are some other important factors that will help you get the best sleep possible.

  • Circadian regulation “exists” in every cell in your body. It’s in your liver, kidneys, brain, lymphatic system, and even your skin. They are all programmed to do really important things at night while you sleep. That is why you should take the light-dark cycle into account as much as possible and go to sleep when it gets darker.
  • You should try to eat light meals.
  • It is also good to stop using electronic devices two hours before bedtime. These devices are very stimulating to your brain, so it can be difficult to sleep.
  • The room temperature should be between 15 and 22 degrees. If it’s colder or warmer, it can affect your sleep.
Woman with headphones on

1. The Chi Kung Technique to Help You Sleep Better

Chi Kung has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. For anyone unfamiliar with it, this Eastern technique is about maintaining your health by balancing your mind, your breathing, and doing exercise. There are many exercises in this technique that can help you sleep better. This is one of them.

  • Sit cross-legged and barefoot on the bed.
  • Empty your mind. Let go of all your thoughts and focus on your breathing.
  • Inhale a little air through your nose and exhale hard from your mouth. Repeat four times.
  • Now massage the sole of the foot with one finger. You make a circular motion with your finger in a clockwise direction for three minutes. Then do the same with the other foot.

2. Exercise based on autogenic training

This technique is very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Autogenic training was developed in the 20th century by the neurologist and hypnosis specialist, Johannes H. Schultz. The main goal is to focus your attention on your physical sensations. You use that as a basis to reach a state of deep relaxation.

Let’s look at an example.

Meditate on the beach
  • Lie on the bed. Make sure you feel comfortable.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your left arm. Repeat in your head: “My left arm is heavy, it’s really heavy and it feels warm too.”
  • Repeat that sentence five times until you physically sense that weight and that warmth.
  • Once you feel it, tell yourself “now I feel relaxed, now I’m completely calm.”
  • Then take a deep breath and raise that arm, feel how light and relaxed it is.
  • Then repeat this entire process with another part of your body.

3. Guided Imagery and Music

One of the best-known techniques for better sleep is guided imagery . This one is actually just as useful for relaxation as it is for treating physical pain. This is because it is based on the idea that body and mind are connected. That strong bond is something you can use to your advantage in your everyday life.

Here’s an example that might help.

  • Sit comfortably, quietly and relaxed on the bed.
  • You can use any kind of relaxing music you want: ambient sounds, relaxing melodies…
  • Now take an image in your head. It should be a kind of calm environment with gentle, enveloping and relaxing stimuli. It can be something like a holiday home, a forest, and island, a meadow at sunset…
  • All your senses must be receptive to the stimuli. Feel the freshness of the breeze, the smell of the forest, the sound of the trees moving in the wind, the sun on your skin…
forest floor

4. Slow, deep, conscious breathing

When it comes to these relaxation techniques to help you sleep better, breathing control always comes into play. Breathing well can bring enormous benefits to your body. One thing that can be very helpful is to learn to practice diaphragmatic breathing.

The goal of this type of breathing is to get most of the air to the part below your lungs. That way you take in more oxygen, your lungs get extra benefits and you help your whole body relax even more.

  • Start by taking a deep breath for four seconds and direct all the air to your stomach.
  • Now hold your breath for seven seconds.
  • Then exhale hard through your mouth for eight seconds.

It’s a good idea to try each of these relaxation techniques to help you sleep better. After trying them all, you can choose which one suits you best. The best thing you can do is make them your own. Make it a part of your nighttime routine just half an hour before you go to bed. Over time , you will start to notice the amazing effects.

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