What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

Did you know that millions of the American adult population suffer from insomnia and have trouble falling and staying asleep? If you are one of those tossing and turning in bed every night, continue reading this article to find the right approach to help you fall asleep within a matter of minutes.

Namely, research says that relaxation has a positive impact on both the mind and the body and can help you drift off to sleep pretty fast. Luckily, there are numerous relaxation techniques you could try to fight off insomnia. And, although it may take some time to master those, the practice pays off for sure because eventually you would get the rest and sleep you desperately need.

All you need for cultivating relaxation is a focus of attention, a passive attitude, a quiet and comfy environment, and a comfortable position. Now, let’s see which relaxation techniques best relieve insomnia symptoms!

Controlled Breathing

Our first method is called pranayama breathing and involves doing a series of slow and deep breaths. With controlled breathing, you can achieve a sense of calm and reduce stress in the nervous system. Also, it helps prepare the brain for sleep by eliminating excitatory stimuli.

All you need is to inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth while counting each breath or each cycle of inhalation and exhalation. Alternatively, you can try the 4-7-8 method which involves slow inhaling through the nose with the mouth closed while counting to four. Then, hold your breath while counting to seven and finally open your mouth and exhale while counting to eight. Repeat the cycle three times.

Mindfulness Meditation

Second, mindfulness is based on slow breathing and a non-judgmental focus on the present moment. It provides many health benefits among which reduced anxiety and insomnia. There are plenty of variations of mindfulness meditation, but if you are a beginner, the body scan meditation could be perfect for you.

Start by focusing on slow breathing at a comfortable pace. Next, focus on the position of your body and notice any sensations in your limbs. Continue the ‘body scan’ on each part of your body allowing each to relax. Finish by reflecting on your body as a whole and relax.


Finally, you could also ease insomnia symptoms by trying our last relaxation method called imagery. It involves the visualization of a peaceful and calm image from your past. But, you should also visualize all the details to engage your attention and promote relaxation.

Just get yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and think about that place or past experience that stimulates a sense of calm. After visualizing the picture as a whole, start breathing in and out slowly while reflecting on the details. Try adding details related to other senses like touch, taste, smell, and sound, and enjoy the calmness of the mental imagery.

What If Your Mind Starts Wandering?

There’s no doubt that relaxation techniques can help you doze off fast and easily. And sometimes you may find that your mind wanders while practicing these techniques. But, don’t worry as this can happen even to experts in meditation. You only have to stay calm, continue breathing slowly, and focus on bringing your mind back to the main focus of the relaxation technique you are practicing.