more and more research is starting to be done on insomnia, the majority
of experts are in agreement about the fact that insomnia
is mainly a mental
disorder that causes people to have difficulties
both falling asleep and remaining asleep throughout the night.
Due to this new research, more doctors are now starting to recommend
mental techniques as a way to treat insomnia and other
sleeping problems. Most of these techniques fall under the category of
behavioral therapy, and progressive relaxation seems to be
one of the most effective of these treatments.
relaxation is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that
focuses on relaxing both
your body and mind before going to bed, and
has been proven to be quite effective at treating insomnia.
are several different methods of progressive relaxation
that can be used, but basically all of them involve
doing certain exercises while entering into a somewhat meditative state
in order to allow the body and mind to fully relax and unwind before
attempting to sleep.
This type of therapy seems to
be effective because
one of the main causes of insomnia is an inability to relax the mind
and body in order to achieve the restful state necessary
proper sleeping patterns. Most people who suffer from insomnia do so
because they simply cannot take their mind off of the day's events and
also continue to concentrate on the things they need to do the next
makes it very difficult for them to concentrate on sleeping,
which in turn makes them more frustrated as they then tend to focus
more and more on their inability to fall asleep.
The entire problem seems
to be a vicious circle,
as the longer they stay awake, the more frustrated they get and the
less likely it will be that they can eventually fall asleep. Even when
they do finally fall asleep, they often quickly wake up again as their
brain still cannot properly relax.
most people who start using progressive relaxation training soon
find it much easier to relax to the point where sleep can come
naturally, so if you are sick of suffering from insomnia, it might well
be worth a try.
to Use Progressive Relaxation Training
first thing you need to know about this technique is that it may
take weeks or even months of using it before your insomnia
starts to go away, so you need to make sure you don't get frustrated if
you don't immediately see positive results. If you start to get
frustrated, it will only make the insomnia worse, so make sure to be
will also need to make sure that you use the different techniques
the day, or else this type of therapy can simply become
another crutch that you need in order to fall asleep. Still, with
proper, continued use of these techniques, you should soon find it much
easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
During the day, you should
breaks to try and clear your
mind from any distractions and stress. This may be difficult at first,
but it should get progressively easier over time.
basically want to
try to enter a meditative state for a few minutes at a time, in order
to help better organize
your thoughts and focus on only the important
the actual progressive relaxation training won't start until you
are ready to go to bed. Once you feel sufficiently tired, you should
immediately go to bed and turn
off all the lights.
Once you go to bed, you will need to dedicate somewhere between ten and
thirty minutes to the progressive relaxation techniques
involve focusing your attention on relaxing all of the muscles in your
body. As you get more comfortable with this process, it should take
less and less time to achieve total relaxation.
of an effective technique:
- As soon as you
go to bed, lie
your back and close your eyes.
- The process
involves focusing on the
different parts of your body, relaxing
them one at a time until they
feel like they are sinking into the bed.
- Start with your feet!
to your feet. Sense them and their weight. Then you need to consciously
focus on relaxing them. Pay attention to the physical tension in your
feet, and focus on relaxing this tension until your feet feel
completely relaxed and like they are sinking into the mattress. Keep
focusing until this happens, beginning with your toes and ending with
your ankles, no matter how long it takes.
- Then you want
to move - in your mind of course - to your lower
legs and knees, and repeat the same process again until
your lower legs
feel totally relaxed.
- Once your
lower legs and knees are
relaxed, you'll want to move to your upper legs and thighs,
- After the neck
head. Start with your jaw,
and then move to the eyes.
attention to making sure the jaw isn't clenched.
- Finally, once
you have done this
technique to your entire body, make
a mental scan to determine if there
are any areas that remain tense. If so, move back to those areas and
repeat until you feel completely relaxed.
- With any luck,
you will be so
relaxed that you immediately
go to sleep. In fact, after some time,
you probably won't make it through the entire process before falling
asleep, as you will be an expert at relaxing your body
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