In lieu of a lullaby, try these calming techniques to help you fall asleep quickly
It’s a fact: The Sleep Foundation estimates that more than one-third of adults lack restful sleep at night. Even those of us who don’t sleep restfully at night can find ourselves tossing and turning in bed after an eventful day.
So, how do you fall asleep quickly? Here are two techniques to try next time you’re having trouble drifting off to dreamland.
Body scan meditation
Whether you’re experiencing tired legs, soreness or muscle tension, your body could be keeping you awake. Calm down those tingles, throbs and thrums with a body scan meditation – a mindfulness exercise in which you take inventory of the sensations in each part of your body, starting at your toes and traveling to the top of your head.
To do it, get in your favorite sleeping position (experts recommend sleeping on your side or back to keep your spine supported and balanced) and begin taking slow, deep breaths. Once you start feeling relaxed, focus on each body part, beginning with your feet. As you breathe, let go of all the tension you’re holding in that area. When your feet feel relaxed, move up your body to focus on the lower legs, upper legs, torso, arms, neck and head.
If you notice any general discomfort, acknowledge it and try to let it go. Visualize the tension leaving the body. As you consciously focus on each area, you may be surprised to realize you’re holding tension in parts of your body that you didn’t even know could feel tense. After five to 10 minutes, your body should be completely soothed.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This exercise also requires you to focus on the tension in your body, but in a different way: Progressive muscle relaxation is based on the notion that it’s difficult to be tense when all your muscles are relaxed. It’s performed by tensing and relaxing several different muscle groups, one at a time.
Start by making an audio recording of yourself saying each muscle group, leaving about a minute between each to allow time to get through the exercise. The groups are: hands, wrists and forearms, biceps, shoulders, forehead, around the eyes and nose, cheeks and jaw, around the mouth, back of the neck, front of the neck, chest, back, stomach, hips and buttocks, thighs and lower legs.
To try the technique, lie down and play back the recording. Breathe in and tense the first group of muscles for 10 seconds. Then, breathe out and quickly relax the muscle group. Stay relaxed for 30 seconds. Afterwards, move on to the next muscle group.
When you’re finished, focus on staying relaxed, and you’ll likely find yourself drifting off.
THRIVE GUMMIES SLEEP is Le-Vel’s newest premium formula, designed to help you get a restful night’s sleep, promote relaxation and support an overall healthy sleep cycle. In an easy-to-chew, tasty gummy, THRIVE SLEEP combines the benefits of melatonin, valerian root and other minerals and herbs to prepare the body for deep sleep.
If you still can’t get to sleep, check your bedroom’s thermostat:
The National Sleep Foundation recommends
a temperature of 60–67°F to promote sleep.