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The key to going to sleep is to relax but for many people that is easier said than done. Indeed for those who have insomnia the last thing they are is relaxed when they go to bed. Being relaxed is a Catch-22 situation. If you are not relaxed then you cannot relax but if you are relaxed then you don’t need to relax. However, there are some relaxation techniques that even the most problematic relaxer can use to help them unwind while they try to go to sleep. Fortunately, they are more creative than sheep counting.
Relaxation can be difficult, especially when you lie down at night. When you get into bed at night often it is the first time you have been left with your thoughts all day and ignoring all the pressing concerns and issues of the day can be hard. While you are trying to get to sleep often your brain begins working overtime. As you struggle to drift off this in itself becomes stressful, creating a self-fulfilling circle. Here are some relaxation methods that will help you to isolate your mind and calm down.
The first relaxation technique is called progressive relaxation. It involves the shifting of your focus across your body. First you start with your feet, sense their weight and position, relax them and then flex them, start at the toes and move to the ankles. Then move on to your knees, sense their weight and position, relax them and then flex them. Do the same for your upper legs. Move on to your buttocks and up to your abdomen and chest. Finally move down your arms, constantly sensing their weight and position, relaxing and tensing each. End on your fingertips, doing each finger individually if needed. Once you have finished start again and keep doing it until you fall asleep.
The other method of relaxation is called deep breathing and this involves concentrating on your breathing cycle. First you need to lie on your back, then you relax your whole body, you might want to use the progressive relaxation technique for this. Now inhale slowly through your nose and fill the lower part of your chest, then the middle and finally the top. Do it as slowly as you can and hold your breath for several seconds afterward. Now breathe out and relax. Wait a few seconds and repeat. If you get dizzy then you are holding your breath for too long. It helps to imagine yourself in a peaceful and serene place, like in a warm ocean, when you are doing this. Continue deep breathing until you fall asleep.
If you struggle to relax when you are trying to go to bed then you could try a relaxation technique, as they are a great way of disengaging your brain after a busy day.
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