BAM VP – Be A More Vibrant Person in 2012
P is for progressive relaxation. A technique of systematically tightening and relaxing each muscle group until your entire body is relaxed. Feels like a deep muscle massage. At the end of a long day progressive relaxation is an excellent sleep aid.
Trouble Sleeping? The Top 5 Remedies for a Good Night’s Rest
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day…” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It’s 2 am. Why can’t I fall asleep?” A recent study revealed that insomnia affects 6% to 10% of adults and is twice as common in women as men. If you lie awake at night worrying about falling asleep your anxiety actually prevents you from doing so. This internal dialogue becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
From time to time we will have bouts of insomnia. A bad night once in a while is a normal part of life. If your insomnia is a new situation or a chronic one, investigate the cause of it. A new medication keeping you too alert to relax? Diuretics or a more serious health problem causing frequent trips to the bathroom? Menopause with its erratic hormonal symptoms interrupting women’s (and sometimes their husbands) sleep. In these situations check with your doctor to determine if there is a need for treatment.
More often than not it is lifestyle, the hectic pace of too much to do and too little time to do it. The stress of work, family and finances. The anxiety spills into the bedroom and what should be a temporary problem falling asleep becomes a negative association with going to bed. But with a few tweaks your bedroom can become a haven for rest and relaxation.
1. Think of your bedroom as your sanctuary. Reframe your self-talk. Instead of thinking, “I have to get some sleep tonight”, put the emphasis on rest and relaxation. Tell yourself, “I’m going to lie here and just relax tonight”. Give yourself permission to get a good night’s rest.
2. Link bed time with your time to wind down. Take a warm bath, sip herbal teas, read a book, spray a relaxing fragrance like lavender or chamomile in your bedroom, play relaxing music. Adjust the room temperature so it is not too hot or cold. Block out light as much as possible and use a sleep mask to ensure total Zen. You may have to experiment to find what works vest to relax you.
3. Avoid all activities that may cause high anxiety. Turn off the TV, nightly news. Put away the laptop, ipad, turn off the phone and blackberry. Avoid caffeine, alcohol consumption and aerobic exercises in the evening.
4. Stop the mind chatter and worry before you go to bed. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes each night to write down everything that is stressing you. Sit in a comfortable chair. Set the timer. When the time is up, put down your pen and put your problems away for the night. Make a promise to yourself that the rest of the night is your time for relaxation.
5. *Progressive relaxation is one of the best techniques to channel your body’s natural ability to calm down and fall asleep. While lying in bed begin to slowly tense and relax each muscle group systematically from toe to head – or head to toe if that feels more natural. Repeat at least once. During the second round visualize yourself enjoying a deep massage of each muscle group.
Full body progressive relaxation includes:
· Lower legs and feet
· Hips and Buttocks
· Shoulders and Neck
· Face, Mouth, Cheeks and Eyes
· Biceps and Upper Arm
· Lower Arm, Hands and Wrist
Your bedroom is now your sanctuary. Your bed…a place for relaxation and a good night’s rest.
BAM VP – Breath, Affirmations, Meditation, Visualization, Progressive Relaxation
*Learn more relaxation techniques in my audio recording “Just Relax Like This”.