Relaxation Technique

Relaxation techniques often can help people with sleep problems get a good night’s sleep. Here is a tested technique for progressive relaxation (print for easy reference):

  • Lie on your back, with eyes closed but gently turned upward.
  • Slowly tense, then completely relax all your body parts.
  • Begin with your feet.
  • Your calves.
  • Thighs.
  • Buttocks.
  • Slowly tense, then completely relax your lower abdomen.
  • Stomach.
  • Slowly clench your hands, then completely relax them.
  • Tense and relax your upper arms.
  • Your chest.
  • Your throat.
  • Tense and relax your head. Feel the muscles around your mouth, to be sure they are relaxed.
  • Squeeze your eyelids, then relax them completely.
  • Now, mentally scan your body. If you find muscles that are still tense, fully tense them, then completely relax them.
  • Slowly take a full breath in, counting as you inhale. When your lungs are filled, hold your breath for the same count, then slowly exhale for the same count.
  • Repeat this breathing exercise six times.
  • Again, scan your body for any tension, then relax those muscles.
  • Simply let go of any thoughts that come into your mind. They will keep coming, but keep letting them go.
  • If you still feel restless, repeat the breathing exercise, and scan your body for tension.