Relaxation Techniques That Induce Sleep

Sleeping well helps our body function better and the mind is more active and lucid. Here are some effective relaxation techniques to combat stress and promote the circadian rhythm.

Sleeping is one of the most common actions, but at the same time also one of the most important for our psychophysical well-being, such as eating, drinking, and breathing.

Sufficient rest, of good quality and the right duration, allows us to face and manage stressful situations and countless daily commitments in the best possible way. Hence, it comes by itself as a lack of sleep in the short and long term is not good for either health or for all. ‘humor.

However, not all people can fall asleep easily and rest well during the night, thus sleeping less than the recommended 7-8 hours. These problems can be caused by factors such as a high build-up of stress, anxiety, muscle tension, or personal issues.

Fortunately, those who cannot give in to Morpheus’ lure so easily can help to fall asleep by practicing some extremely valid and effective relaxation exercises, which anyone at home can perform.

Relaxation Techniques That Induce Sleep

Spend at Least an Hour a Day Just for Yourself

Generally, the relaxation techniques that help to reconcile sleep are concentrated in a series of breathing exercises that help restore the balance between mind and body, thus reducing the psychophysical stress accumulated to enjoy a peaceful and restorative rest.

However, during the exercises, it is advisable to create a comfortable and relaxing environment inside the room, perhaps choosing a small area as empty and silent as possible, such as the terrace, a corner of the bedroom, or a study.

The important thing is that when you enter it, take care to leave out everything that does not concern the execution of the exercises to sleep: therefore, stress, anger, worries, the cell phone, and anything that can distract you.

If you prefer, get yourself a soft floor cushion or yoga mat to be more comfortable, while to create the right atmosphere, you could burn some incense, light a scented candle, or play relaxing music suitable for the practice.

An ancient Chinese proverb says: “Meditate at least thirty minutes a day. If you don’t have time, meditate for an hour a day”.

It may seem obvious, but the first rule to relax when the time to go to bed approaches is to devote some of your time to healthy selfishness, carving out a “sacred” hour all to yourself during which there is no responsibility towards the outside world, and every action is directed exclusively to personal well-being.

This is useful for warding off negative thoughts and “decompressing” the mind in order to leave behind a busy day and recover energy and vitality before bed.

During this time, focus your thoughts on something that arouses positive sensations in you (relaxing sports, art, cooking, the goals of your favorite football player, and so on): the important thing is to “do it” only with the mind, always keeping your eyes closed and the sources of distraction strictly off, therefore TV, lights, mobile phone, and tablet. You can sit on the sofa or lie on a rug, but not on the bed. At least not yet!

Breathing Techniques to Relax

Proper breathing is able to bring numerous benefits to our body but, due to the frenetic rhythms to which we are subjected during the day, it is often conditioned by anxiety and emotions: we breathe quickly and laboredly if we are nervous, more slowly when we live a moment of peace and tranquility.

Therefore, to relax before sleeping, it is important to pay more attention to the breath:

  1. Lie down on the mat or on the bed, close your eyes and inhale deeply with your nose by shrugging your shoulders.
  2. Hold your breath for a slow count to five and exhale through your mouth until all the air is released, lowering your shoulders again.
  3. Repeat the exercise for ten minutes.

Practice progressive muscle relaxation once you have finished the breathing exercises to relax the mind; you need to focus on the body to release the accumulated stress and prepare to face the night’s rest.

To promote falling asleep, progressive muscle relaxation exercises (PMR) can be practiced based on alternating contraction/relaxation of muscles subjected to very intense workloads (such as legs, shoulders, back, and arms) to reduce muscle tension. Stress induces a state of physical and mental relaxation that is increasingly concrete and generalized.

After clearing your mind of worries and negative thoughts, all you have to do is contract the muscles for about ten seconds and then relax them for the same amount of time, proceeding in the following order:

Feet: curl your toes so that they press on the transverse vault of the sole, contract for a count of ten and then relax;

Calves: while lying down, bend your feet backward, contract for a count of ten, and then relax

Thighs: while seated, push your toes forward, bringing them as close to the floor as possible, contract for a count of ten, and then relax;

Buttocks: firmly squeeze the buttocks for ten seconds and relax;

Lumbo-sacral stretch: while sitting with your legs bent, tilt your head and shoulders forward, bringing your forehead closer to your knees to form an arch with your back, stay in position for ten seconds and then relax;

Lats: While seated, push your shoulders up while keeping your arms at your sides, contract for a count of ten and then relax;

Chest: Inhale strongly to inflate the lungs, hold your breath for ten seconds and relax;

Shoulders: Raise your shoulders as close as possible to your ears, stay in position for ten seconds and relax;

Arms: Extend your arms forward, bend your elbows touch your shoulders with your palms, contract for a count of ten, and then relax;

Forearms: Extend your arms forward with your palms facing up, bend your wrists so that you can look at your fingers, count to ten and relax;

Hands: Close your very tight fists for ten seconds and then gently reopen your hands;

Neck: Relax your shoulders and stretch your neck first to the left, then forward, then right, then back, holding each position for ten seconds.

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