Are you having trouble sleeping because your mind is full of endless thoughts and worry? It would be so much easier if switching off your mind would be as simple as switching off your bed light, but it’s a little more complicated than that. You might require a little help transitioning to your sleeping mode. To get a good night’s sleep you need to come up with a bedtime routine that will help relax your body and calm your mind before going to bed. Using relaxation techniques is a great way of unwinding after a long day and clearing your mind to help you fall asleep faster and get more sleep at night.

Here are some relaxation techniques you can try during the day to relieve stress and before you go to bed if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Breathing exercises

Slow and deep breathing exercises are very powerful and have been used for centuries to clear tension and stress from the body. It’s also a great way of transitioning to your sleeping mode at night. At some point in most meditations, you will be encouraged to focus on your breathing. Deep breathing helps to reduce muscle tension, slow down your heart rate and breathing, and lower your metabolism and blood pressure. By inhaling deeply and holding your breath, you increase the oxygen levels in your body allowing your body to work less hard.

When you slowly exhale you’re mimicking the breathing your body adopts when you’re falling asleep. Deep breathing helps to slow down your heart rate, relax your muscles, and divert your attention from your worries.

Guided meditation

Guided meditation is a way that helps you stop thinking of your worries, but helps you relax and focus on something positive. If you’re finding it difficult to sleep, you can listen to an audio track or meditation video on your phone. Just lie down on your loft bed, tell your body to relax from head to toe, then close your eyes and listen to the calming instructions. Or if there is a bedtime routine that helps you relax, it would be a good idea to try it. Guided meditation is a mind and body technique that can help reduce stress and help you sleep.

This guided exercise involves all your senses to help you focus on imagination, and it’s a powerful tool that connects your conscious and unconscious mind. It helps to relieve physical and mental stress, reduce anxiety, and help to induce sleep.

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is a simple relaxation technique which involves tensing a group of your body muscles then relaxing them. This way you’re able to know when your muscles are tense and when they’re relaxed. This relaxation technique helps to release any physical or mental tension you might have before it interferes with your sleep. The best place to start relaxing your muscles is from your feet then work your way upwards to your head tensing and relaxing every muscle in your body.

Biofeedback

This technique uses biofeedback devices that collect information about your body that will help you know when your body is tensing or relaxing. The biofeedback sensors can track and measure your breathing, muscle contraction, heart rate, sweating, body temperature, and sleep stages. You can monitor this data from your mobile phone or wearable device and learn how different thoughts and actions affect your pulse, brain activity, or cause muscle tension. These devices alert you of any signs of stress so that you can take the necessary steps towards relaxing your body.

4-7-8 Yoga breathing technique

This is a popular breathing technique that helps you slow down your breathing and helps your mind to stop focusing on the racing thoughts but on counting. Before you begin you need to exhale all the air in your lungs. Then breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this exercise 4 times to help you feel calmer and prepare you to sleep.

Autogenic training

Autogenic training is an effective series of exercises that train you on how to focus your mind’s attention to the different ways your body reacts to physical sensation so that it can relax you physically and mentally. These training exercises use verbal cues and images to calm your thoughts and relax your mind. You can practice these exercises regularly so that they can be more effective in helping you to manage stress during the day, and also relax your body and mind before you go to sleep.

Counting backwards

If you’re having trouble sleeping this simple technique can help you feel sleepy. As you lie in your bed, you can start counting backwards from 100 but do it slowly and take your time. If you get lost in your count just gently start again. Remember not to allow yourself to get frustrated. The monotonous routine keeps your mind focused on counting and at the same time makes you start feeling sleepy.

Alternate nostril breathing

This breathing exercise is a deep relaxation technique where you balance the right and left sides of your brain while calming your nervous system. Slightly touch both sides of your nostrils with your thumb and the right ring finger. Breathe in deeply then exhale deeply. With your thumb close off your right nostril, count to four as you inhale with your left nostril. With that same breath use your ring finger to close your left nostril, hold and count to four then release your right nostril and exhale four times. Repeat this as many times as it takes to calm you down and end with your left nostril.

Final word

Relaxing your muscles and slowing down your breathing helps to slow down your thoughts and relax your mind so that you can fall asleep. You can integrate these relaxation techniques in your daily routine to lower your stress and anxiety levels, help you better cope with the stresses of life, and improve on your sleep.