By Reem Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about different ways to get your mind to stop keeping you awake while actually trying to sleep. Lots of you said you enjoyed the read and that some of the techniques truly helped you and your loved ones, but some of you said that you are still struggling. This time I researched science-based articles and found some interesting and out-of-the-box methods for you all to try this. Firstly, let’s all agree that trying too hard to sleep can really effect you and even causes you stress out more and worry about waking up in the morning with a good night’s sleep. Therefore, you really have to be willing to clear your mind, be patient and believe in the technique while trying them out or else they will not work.
This technique was made for pilots in the navy as a routine to help them fall asleep within 2 minutes even after drinking coffee and hearing extremely loud noises in the background. It is said that these pilots actually succeeded in sleeping using this technique after six weeks of practice. They say that you can even use this method when trying to get some shut-eye while sitting up.
1. Relax your face, especially the muscles inside your mouth. Then relax your shoulders and let them drop, releasing all the tension in that area. Let your hands drop to the side of your body.
2. Exhale and relax your chest. Then your legs, thighs and finally your calves.
3. Now clear your mind and imagine a relaxing scene for 10 seconds.
This technique combines mediation with visualisation and breathing. While exhaling, it is better to always imagine the tension leaving your body.
1. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. Slightly part your lips to allow yourself to exhale through your mouth making a ‘whooshing’ sound.
2. Now close your lips and inhale through your nose silently and count to 4 in your head. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then exhale through your mouth again for 8 seconds while making the same whooshing sound.
3. Repeat for 4 full breaths and let your body slowly unwind as you continue.
PMR Method: Progressive muscle relaxation is also known as deep muscle relaxation. The movements involved promote peacefulness and are highly recommended for people who suffer with insomnia.
1. First raise your eyebrows as high as possible for 5 seconds. After completing the 5 seconds, relax them and let them drop. As they drop, imagine the tension dropping.
2. Wait 10 seconds and then smile as wide as possible. Hold this for 5 seconds and then relax your mouth and cheeks. Again, feeling all the tension drop.
3. Wait 10 seconds and then shut your eyes, squinting them hard for 5 seconds. Relax your eyes and wait for another 10 seconds.
4. Tilt your head back slightly to the point where you are still comfortable as you look up at the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax your neck as it sinks back into the pillow to your starting position.
5. Continue doing this tense-release exercise down the rest of your body (shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps and from your thighs to your feet).
Finally, the last method is called ‘reverse psychology’ and that means to simply tell yourself not to sleep. Studies have shown that this method works on the subconscious and has helped people who suffer from insomnia. In conclusion, everyone is different and you have to try several techniques before you can find the best one that works for you. Do not give up, good luck and please do let me know if any of these methods work for you!
*The author is a wellness advocate and influencer @keys2balance.
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