Do you struggle with falling asleep, especially when stressed, anxious, or in pain?
A lot of my patients do, and this exercise called Progressive Muscle Relaxation is one of the proven techniques that my patients and I find helpful in dealing with sleep issues.
This deep relaxation technique has been used to effectively control stress and anxiety, relieve insomnia, and reduce certain types of chronic pain symptoms.
In this video, I shared the step-by-step guide on how to do this Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This relaxation technique will help you shut your brain off at night, decrease pain, and relax to fall asleep naturally.
Would you like to know how to do this exercise so you can fall asleep easier?
Here are the steps for doing PMR: Before you start – Prepare for sleep by following the sleep hygiene techniques (LINK)
Step 1: Darken the room, lay down on your bed, and close your eyes.
Step 2: Take three deep breaths and bring attention to your body and see how it feels as you breathe in and out.
Step 3: Now, bring attention to your feet. You can wiggle your toes or make your feet tight and let go. Tell yourself, “My feet are relaxing. My feet are relaxed.”
Step 4: Bring attention to your legs, your thighs, and your calves. Make them tight and let the tension go. Feel that relaxation. Say to yourself, “My legs are relaxing. My legs are relaxed.”
Step 5: Bring attention to your hips, make them tight, and let the tension go. Feel that relaxation in your hip muscles. Tell yourself, “My hips are relaxing. My hip muscles are relaxed.”
Step 6: Bring attention to your stomach. Make those muscles tight and let them go. Say, “My stomach is relaxing. My stomach muscles are relaxed.”
Step 7: Bring attention to your back. Feel the tightness in your back and let it go. Say to yourself, “My back is relaxing. My back muscles are relaxed.”
Bring attention to your chest.
Make the chest muscles tight, hold it, and let it go.
Tell yourself, “My chest muscles are relaxing. My chest muscles are totally relaxed.”
Step 9: Bring attention to your shoulders. Hunch your shoulders, feel the tension, and let the stress go. Say to yourself, “My shoulders are relaxing. My shoulders are relaxed.”
Step 10: Bring attention to your arms. Feel the tension in your arms and let it go. Say, “My arms are relaxing. My arms are relaxed.”
Step 11: Make your fists tight and let go. Feel the relaxation in your hands. Say to yourself, “My hands are relaxing. My hands are relaxed.”
Step 12. Bring attention to your lower face. Make your jaws tight and let it go. Tell yourself, “My jaws are relaxed.”
Bring attention to your upper face.
Bring the tension by squeezing your eyes and holding them, then let go.
Tell yourself, “My upper face is relaxing. My upper face is totally relaxed.”
Step 14: Make the whole body tight as a piece of wood. Tighten your body and let go. Feel the tension going from your head, from your body, from your legs, down on the earth, or on the bed (if you’re laying). Feel the whole body relax and enjoy that relaxed feeling.
If you are falling asleep, allow yourself to drift to sleep. If you’re still not able to sleep, tell yourself, “I cannot force sleep to come over me, but I can provide the best environment for sleep to come over me.”
If this exercise did not work for you, you could check out other videos to learn different techniques to help you fall asleep faster. If none of them works for you, at least you’ll get your mind and body to rest so you can be your best the next day. If you need help, you can approach your healthcare professional.