Sleep

Overview

Following are three different techniques that can help you sleep at night.   

  • Different people may prefer different techniques.   Find the technique or techniques that you find most effective and use them.

Recommendation

  • If you wish to go to sleep it is best if you are lying on your back with your hands to your sides.
  • Do not move. Just sitting still has a relaxing effect.
  • You should feel comfortable. You should not be either too cold or too hot.
  • Even if you are unable to fall asleep these exercises are relaxing and will have a healing impact on your body.
  • If you make it a goal to fall asleep it will create tension and you will decrease your chances of falling asleep.
  • Do the Soft Belly Breathing for 2 to 5 minutes (5 to 10 times) to slow down your heart and decrease the blood pressure.
  • Do the Body Scan next. This focuses your mind on your bodily sensations and slows down the thinking mind and the anxieties accumulated through the day.
  • Do the counting backwards several times.
    If you are not asleep after all 3 steps, repeat all 3 steps or go to the technique that you find most useful.

Soft Belly Breathing

This is the exercise that is most effective for triggering your parasympathetic nerve system and slowing your heart rate and decreasing your blood pressure and stopping the adrenaline from flowing.   This also draws your mind away from your thought patterns into your physical sensations.

How 

Position

  • Comfortable relaxed position.

  • If on a Chair – feet flat on the floor – Back straight

  • If Lying down – arms at your side.

  • If you feel comfortable you may allow your eyes to close

Soft Belly breathing.

  • Allow yourself to breath deeply.  In through your nose out through your mouth.
  • Fill your abdominal area first and then allow your lungs to fill.

  • Keep the focus on your abdomen noticing how you are using your muscles to expand your belly.

  • If you like, you can put your hands on your abdomen and chest and notice that the belly rises and falls.

  • Consciously loosen your belly muscles.

Click Here for more detailed instruction

Body Scan

This exercise helps take your mind off of your thoughts.   If you can focus on your body parts the thinking mind will eventually slow down and relax.  

Posture

  • Comfortable relaxed position.

  • Chair – feet flat on the floor and your back straight.

  • If Lying down – arms at your side.

  • If you are comfortable allow your eyes to close

Body Scan

  •  Slowly go through each part of your body in detail.
  • For each part. Focus on it. Be curious about it. What are the sensations in that part of the body? Is it hot or cold? Does it tingle?
  • Go in as much detail as you can in identifying the parts of the body.
  • One possible sequence:  Right Hand thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of your right hand, back of your right hand, wrist, forearm, upper arm, right shoulder, right hip, thigh, hamstring, knee, calf, ankle, heel of the right foot, bottom.
  • Repeat for the left side of your body.
  • Your neck, your jaws, your tongue, your eyebrows, your eyelids, your forehead.
  • When you have completed going through your whole body try to feel the whole body all at once.
  • Feel your whole body relax.
  • Imagine that your body is so light that it will float.

Counting Backward

This exercise helps take your mind off of your thoughts.   You will be counting backwards in a complex way that takes your full attention. 

 

  • Start Counting back wards from 40.   On the even count breathe in and on the out count breathe out:
    •  40 in, 39 out, 38 in, 37 out etc. until 20 
  •  From 20 to 0 count backwards and there is a full breath for each count.
    •  20 in and out, 19 in and out etc. 

Guided Meditation

Click Here to download a guided meditation.