Relaxation TrainingRelaxation techniques , meditation and self-hypnosis can help reduce the racing thoughts and tension that often accompany lying in bed awake. These techniques can increase the body’s natural relaxation response5, which is helpful for the body and mind. The best relaxation techniques are those that can be reasonably incorporated into a person’s routine. Here are a few relaxation techniques commonly taught in CBT-I:
- Breathing exercises: Many different breathing exercises may be taught. Research has show that slow deep focused breathing can slow your heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiety, anger, and depression6.
- Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR): PMR also know as a body scan is a technique that involves relaxing different muscle groups or parts of the body.
- Autogenic training: This technique adjusts focus to different parts of the body and notices specific sensations. A person may focus on sensations such as heaviness, warmth, or relaxation.
- Biofeedback: Biofeedback uses technology to help monitor certain processes in the body such as brain waves, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature7. Using the information provided by electronic devices, people may begin to learn to have more control over these processes.
- Meditation, Hypnosis & Guided imagery: Learning to focus attention through meditation has demonstrated a variety of health benefits8, including reduced stress, anxiety, and increased relaxation. Meditation may also involve practices that combine focused attention with movement, such as yoga and tai chi.
Tips for Sleeping With InsomniaThe following are some basic sleep hygiene tips.
- Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule to maintain a rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep.
- If you cannot sleep get out of bed and find something relaxing to do until you feel tired again.
- Create a nightly ritual: Give yourself enough time to get ready for bed – the longer the better ideally 2 hours. Turn off your electronics early and find some relaxing activities that help you wind down before sleep.
- Exercise can help you sleep better.
- Avoid eating, too close to bedtime.
- Alcohol and caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns so maybe an idea to quit or skip for a while until you get your sleep patterns on track.
- Include a warm drink such as herbal tea in your bedtime routine.
- Lavender is a a wonderful scent that can put you in the mood for sleep.
- Try meditation and self- hypnosis