Nowadays, more and more people are having difficulty falling and staying asleep. Luckily, there are some effective relaxation techniques to improve sleep and help you get rid of sleeping difficulties.
People who have difficulty getting sleep can take advantage of relaxation techniques that they can perform prior to bedtime. Stress interferes with a good night’s sleep and is one of the leading causes of insomnia. A good relaxation technique for sleep addresses anxiety, relieves tension, and decreases stimulation.
Your productivity during the day greatly depends on how well you have rested the previous night. The remedy for your sleeping problems relies on modifying your daily activities. Your lifestyle, bedtime schedule, and nightly routine determine the quality of your sleep. The following recommendations will help you identify an appropriate relaxation technique for sleep that you can adopt.
14 Relaxation Techniques To Improve Sleep
1. Try this evening exercise for relaxing
In the video, the evening exercise features slow hand movements that are simultaneous with slow breathing.
You gently raise both hands as you inhale and lower them as you exhale. As the movements become coordinated with your respiration, your mind will now meditate on the energy that fills up your body. You focus on the sensation of warmth that enters from the soles of your feet, passing up to your head. As you exhale, your mind concentrates on relaxing your body from head to toe.
At the end of the activity, pause for a few seconds to observe and enjoy the comforting effect of this relaxation technique for sleep.
10-15 minutes is an optimum time to do the exercise.
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2. Deep breathing
Deep breathing is abdominal respiration that slows down inhalation and exhalation. Shallow breathing brings tension into your body. Perform deep breathing exercises properly during the day to calm your mind and body. In addition, try to sense the feeling the moment the air enters and fills your entire body.
This simple activity will promote relaxation throughout the day, resulting in a more rested body when you go to sleep at night. It mimics the type of respiration that you do when you are sleeping, which is slow and relaxed. Here is the correct way to perform this relaxation technique for sleep:
- Start the exercise by looking for a comfortable place where you can rest your back while you position your feet slightly apart from each other. Place one hand over your chest and the other hand over your abdomen.
- Breathe in through your nose and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Concentrate on your respiration and observe the movement of your hands. The hand over your stomach should move first, followed by the hand over your chest.
- Breathe in again, gently expand your abdomen and watch it rise. Visualize energy filling your lungs and the different parts of your body. Then, pause for a second and slowly breathe out to relax your abdomen.
- Continue with the activity for 5-10 times.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation calms your body by contracting and releasing muscles. Here are the steps in doing this relaxation technique for sleep:
- Place a pillow under your head and knees to have a relaxed position. Put your arms slightly away from the sides of your body, with the palms facing up.
- Inhale and exhale gently and deeply through your nose to promote relaxation.
- Concentrate on your ankles and feet and begin to tense the muscles for about 5-10 seconds, and then release them.
- Work your way up to the various parts of your body — starting from your legs, thighs, lower back, hips, abdomen, shoulders, neck, face, and forehead.
4. Toe tensing
Toe tensing removes tension from the body and directing it toward your toes. Here are the steps to follow:
- Lie down in bed and close your eyes.
- Move your toes toward your head and hold that position for about 10 seconds.
- Rest your toes and repeat the exercise for about 10 times.
Visualization is a type of relaxation technique for sleep that involves your imagination to help lessen your anxiety. The basic steps are as follows:
- Find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
- Picture yourself in a serene setting.
- Do several deep breathing exercises.
- Focus on the sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and feelings as you continue to imagine yourself relaxing in a wonderful, peaceful place.
- Do the activity for about 5-10 minutes.
Yoga is an amazing relaxation technique for sleep that involves simple stretching exercises while meditating. This activity calms you and creates a relaxed mind and body.
Counting strategy distracts your mind from worries or excitement. The most popular method is the counting of sheep jumping over a fence. The concept is to focus your mind on counting and eliminate other distracting thoughts.
8. Quiet ear
Quiet ear is a simple relaxation technique for sleep that involves these simple steps:
- Lie down and close your eyes.
- Rest your head over the palms of your two hands.
- Put your thumbs inside the ear opening.
- Listen to the high-pitched sound for about 10-15 minutes.
- Relax your arms.
Hypnosis can induce relaxation and improve your concentration. A hypnotherapist usually conducts the activity. Some people try it with the use of audio tracks, books, and/or other training resources.
A massage is a relaxation technique for sleep performed by a professional therapist. Its benefits include relieving pain, boosting the immune system, and relaxing the body.
11. Minimize activities at least an hour before your bedtime schedule
Stop watching television, playing with your gadgets, or doing work on your computer.
12. Listen to soothing music or audiobooks
Music affects the mind, heart, and breathing. Slow music can relax the body by decreasing your blood pressure, and heart and pulse rate. It alleviates pain and decreases tension. Studies show that playing classical music for at least 30 minutes can effectively calm your body.
13. Read a book
Just make sure that the book you are reading is calming, not a thriller that keeps you up at night.
14. A warm shower triggers drowsiness
Taking a warm shower is always a good idea when you need to calm down your mind and body.
The various methods are important to achieve deep, quality sleep every night. You can establish a personal relaxation technique for sleep by refraining from things that deter you from sleep. Therefore, it is essential to explore different strategies. Remember that some techniques that are effective for other people might not be applicable to you.
These relaxation techniques are not instant solutions to your sleeping problems. However, making the time and effort to practice these relaxation techniques may help give you a well-rested night.