Wednesday, 5 November 2014

2 Relaxation Techniques to Help you Get a Better Night's Sleep

Sleeping like a baby! Relaxation techniques to help you get a better night's sleep
Sleeping like a baby!
If you’re one of the many people who have troubled getting a good night’s sleep, here are some simple techniques you can follow that could help you fall asleep more quickly both when you first go to bed and also if you tend to wake up in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

Relaxation techniques offer a natural solution to help combat sleep deprivation/insomnia.  These exercises are free and simple to perform whilst lying in bed.  Feel free to adapt the techniques to suit your own needs. 

The idea behind these relaxation techniques is that by focusing your mind on a specific mental task, you override the mind’s constant chatter and worries that can have a tendency to keep you awake at night.


(1)  Counting Backwards

Counting backwards is an adaptation of the “counting sheep” method!  Try counting backwards, starting at 200 (or a higher or lower number, depending on your needs).  E.g.:

·         200, 199, 198, 197, 196, 195, 194, 193, 192, 191, 190 etc.
  
The idea behind counting backwards is to focus your mind on a specific task, i.e. counting, to help take your mind off the events of the day or any worries you may have which is causing your mind to ceaselessly chatter and prevent you from sleeping.

If you find your mind starts to wander off on its worrying path again, simply bring yourself back to counting backwards.  Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten what number you got to, choose a number you think you got closest to or even start again!


(2)  Mentally send Relaxing Messages throughout the Body

This technique mindfully relaxes both the body and mind.

Starting with your feet, focus on one body part at a time and mentally send relaxing messages to it.

For example, you could say something like the following to yourself:

·         “I relax my toes, I relax my toes, my toes are relaxed”

You don’t have to say this exact wording, feel free to change the phrase or use your own wording – whatever feels right for you.  Whatever wording you choose, say it slowly and quietly to yourself and as you say it, imagine each particular body part relaxing.

Repeat the above for all areas of your body, relaxing your feet, legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, head, face.  You could take it further, for example, by relaxing specific organs or specific parts of an area, such as the eyes, nose and mouth on the facial area for example.

Again, as with the previous technique, if you find you’ve distracted yourself and your mind has gone off on its worrying path, as soon as you realise, simply bring your mind back to focusing on sending relaxing messages throughout the body.  Don’t worry about forgetting where you left off, choose roughly where you think you got to and carry on.
N.B.:  It’s advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns regarding your health or sleeping patterns.  Alternative therapists seek to work in conjunction with the medical profession.  Always consult a registered/licensed alternative therapist before using any alternative therapy.
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