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Great Relaxation Exercises that Promote Sleep

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    For the unfortunate few, catching some Zzzs is not as easy as 1-2-3. These people usually have sleepless nights, no matter how hard they try. If you are one of those people who find sleep so elusive, you will be glad to know that you can achieve that most-coveted slumber without popping sleeping pills. Take the path toward a healthy, drug-free sleep by performing these great relaxation exercises:  

Guided Imagery

Get into a comfortable position on your bed and close your eyes.  Relax and envision a scene or story that you find soothing and reassuring. It could be anything you want – a picture of your latest vacation or a book you find very relaxing. What’s important is it focuses your attention and frees your mind from the extraneous clutter. Once you have come up with a peaceful scenario, conjure up all the details that will complete the picture. If you find your mind drifting, pull away from the disturbing thoughts. For best results, turn off all the electronics that can disturb you from guided imagery. Examples include your cellphone, tablet and bedside clock. If you find yourself still awake after 20 minutes, perform another task until you feel sleepy.  

Breathing Exercise

Once you are all set on your bed, close your eyes. Turn all of your attention to your breathing patterns. Feel the air as it enters your nose and leaves your mouth. Envision the flow of air that travels from your mouth, airways and lungs before it heads back out. Feel any tension in your body, and let it out as you exhale. See the air as it reaches your forehead, neck, shoulders and arms – then exhale the tension out of your body. Keep your mind focused as you perform this deep breathing exercise.  

“Falling Asleep” Exercise

Once you have found a comfortable spot on your bed, lay down and close your eyes. Take a deep breathe and recite the word “falling” three times as you exhale. Take another breathe and recite “asleep” thrice as you exhale. Perform this exercise repeatedly until you drift off to dreamland.  

“Flashback” Exercise

Do you often lose sleep because you keep on replaying certain scenarios in your head? If you often do this, you will be glad to know that you can use it to your advantage. Before going to bed, replay all the things that have happened throughout your day. Begin with the events that transpired just an hour before – prior to going back to what happened at the start of the day. As you recall your activities, just be a silent watcher – do not make comments or judge what you did earlier that day. Immerse yourself in the moment, however, look at it as if you are an outsider. Seeing the scenes clearly will help you gain insight. It might even help you realize the silly things you did before you went home from work. Observing and not labelling the things that happened can help you get a peaceful sleep that has always evaded you. Sleeping can be a chore for some, but you can do it easily with the help of these relaxation exercises. Just practice them nightly and you will have that peaceful, deep sleep you have always wanted.  
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