Alternatives to Counting Sheep - Sleep Help Meditation Exercise

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I used to have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep at the end of the day when I was little. It was probably because I wanted to stay up later or I was still wound up.

My mom and dad would take turns laying down with me for a little while every night before I went to sleep, and if I was particularly wound up, they had this sneaky little trick to help me relax and go to sleep.

When I got older, I used the same technique they taught me when I was little, except I would say it to myself. As I got even older, I started to recognize what my parents had done for me was a sort of meditation.

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, try this self guided meditation exercise to see if it helps you fall asleep.


Source

Self Guided Meditation

Part 1 - Say each of these things silently to yourself as you do them. Spend about 5 seconds doing each thing.

  • Make yourself as comfortable as you can
  • Close your eyes
  • Clear your mind, and try not to think about anything
  • Take 3 slow, deep breaths
  • Relax all the muscles in your body

Part 2 - Remember to keep saying these things silently to yourself as you focus on relaxing each muscle group.

Next...

  • Relax all the muscles in your toes
  • Relax all the muscles in your feet
  • Relax all the muscles in your calves
  • Relax all the muscles in your knees
  • Relax all the muscles in your thighs
  • Relax all the muscles in your bottom

Then...

  • Relax all the muscles in your lower stomach
  • Relax all the muscles in your lower back
  • Relax all the muscles in your stomach
  • Relax all the muscles in your back
  • Relax all the muscles in your chest
  • Relax all the muscles in your upper back
  • Relax all the muscles in your shoulders

*At this point I usually fall asleep*

  • Relax all the muscles in your upper arms
  • Relax all the muscles in your elbows
  • Relax all the muscles in your forearms
  • Relax all the muscles in your wrists
  • Relax all the muscles in your hands
  • Relax all the muscles in your fingers
  • Relax all the muscles in your neck
  • Relax all the muscles on your face

Finally...

  • Relax all the muscles in your body
  • And pretty soon you'll go to sleep...
  • Take 1 slow, deep breath


The best part, is it's a natural way to fall asleep

I think I've pretty much made peace with the idea that I don't like taking medication unless I absolutely have to. I'm that stubborn person who refuses to see a doctor until it's absolutely necessary.

That is why this is my favorite technique to help me fall asleep; it is completely natural. I have never had to take sleeping pills or use any other sleep aids, and I don't have to drink any "get to sleep quick teas."


Secret sleep weapon

This meditation exercise gets me to sleep, I'd say, about 90% of the time before I even finish it. If I have somewhere I need to be early in the morning, and I know I have to get to sleep soon if I want to have any chance of being useful in the morning, I use this relaxation technique.

I've found that this works best for me when I've been trying to get to sleep for a while already. The exercise is a sort of last resort. It's kind of my secret sleep weapon.


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Comments - How do you get to sleep? 4 comments

daniellehorgan 5 years ago

This is such a great hub! I've had trouble falling asleep a few nights in the last couple of weeks, I think it's because I'm working more. I'm going to start using this technique tonight! Voted up and useful!


diydiva profile image

diydiva 5 years ago from California

I've recently been battling some serious stress and anxiety, and a friend gave me a great tip that has really helped me to relax before bed. Breath only through your nose; hold one nostril closed and breath in, then close the alternate nostril and breath out. Continue to breath in one nostril, and out the other. I am definitely going to be trying your tips next time I find myself wanting sleep but can't seem to do it.


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

This is a timely hub for me, as my stress level has increased recently and it has affected my sleep. When I was little, I used to mentally repeat, "1,2, 1, 2" over and over again until I drifted off. Not sure how I came up with that but it worked at the time! Thanks for sharing this technique. I'm going to give this a try.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 23 months ago from london

Well, my Friend, I meditate, but it seems that you are better at it than I am, at least when it comes to sleeping. I will try your mom's technique toninght. Peace.

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