Trying to fall asleep and looking up at the ceiling or tossing and turning is one of the most frustrating experiences you can have. Whether you’re just tired and want some rest, or you know you’ve got an early morning awaiting you, not being able to get to sleep can wreck your night and your next day.
While insomnia can be a serious issue, there are some relaxation techniques out there that can help the average person get to sleep. They may not all work for you, but if sleep problems aren’t persistent, one of these methods should help you get the rest you need.
1. Do Breathing Exercises
The simplest way to do breathing exercises in order to get to sleep is to start on your back looking straight up at the ceiling. From there, you should turn your attention to your natural breathing pattern, focusing on when you breathe in and when you breathe out.
Try to make the way you breathe the center of your attention. Relaxing your body as you breathe and begin to get more comfortable with focused breathing should come naturally. Many people fall asleep after just a few minutes of focused breathing.
2. Consider Counting Sheep
Counting sheep is what parents used to tell their kids to do to get to sleep, but the fact is that it still works for some people suffering from restless nights. Best of all, you don’t need any special equipment or techniques for this.
Simply visualize sheep walking past you in a verdant field or jumping over a bush or shrub. As you do this, you might find yourself feeling more relaxed and falling asleep within a matter of minutes.
3. Count Backward
Start at 100 and begin to slowly count down to 0. Like counting sheep, this technique is simple, but it’s often effective for people who simply need to slow their minds down to get the rest they need.
If you reach zero, you can start the process over or move onto something more visual, like counting sheep or guided imagery.
4. Guided Imagery Technique
Guided imagery is a bit more complex than counting sheep or counting down for 100. For some people, though, that more complex process is exactly why they can turn their minds away from the events of the day and get some shut-eye.
To practice guided imagery, get into a comfortable position in bed and simply imagine a relaxing scene. From sitting by a warm fire, to lounging by the pool, the scene is completely up to you.
For many people, being able to imagine events with more visual details is a much easier way to avoid problematic distractions than trying to count sheep.
5. Try White Noise
White noise machines are popular today, mostly because they help block out underlying sounds that keep people awake. Designed to mask things that may keep you awake and focus on the brain on something that’s repetitive, white noise machines can be helpful for many, and they require little from the person using them.
Pink noise, as well as other types of repetitive noise, can also be used for sleep. Many machines offer different sounds to help you find the right one.
Getting to sleep isn’t always easy, but with the right techniques, you don’t need to suffer sleepless nights any longer. It may take some experimenting on your part, but once you find something that works, you should be able to stick with it for the long haul.
You might find you don’t even need relaxation techniques after a short period of time.