This is not a funny post. If you came here for funny, scroll down. This is a post about how I fall asleep when my mind is racing and I’m sharing it because maybe it will help someone else.
I wouldn’t say I have terrible insomnia. I fall asleep pretty easily most nights but I do wake up randomly in the middle of the night and that’s when I have a hard time falling back to sleep because my brain likes to get all active worrying about work and replaying conversations and situations and just basically being a big punk.
I used to take Yoga classes and at the end of the class we did “Corpse Pose”. At the time, I hated it. It drove me crazy to be forced to lay there, and do nothing. The instructor would have us lay in this pose and have us relax our entire body from top to bottom. One night, when I was laying restlessly in bed, desperate for sleep, I started to recite the relaxation techniques and I was out in a matter of minutes.
It’s starts with laying flat on your back (I can also lay on my side and it works just the same). First thing you do is tell your body how to relax. All of this is said in your head, nothing outloud and your body just lays perfectly still. Legs out straight, hands to your sides.
Start with the forehead. Relax the space between your eyes. Make sure it’s not wrinkled and tense. Then move to your mouth, relax your jaw, release the tension. Don’t grind your teeth together. Relax your tongue. Let it just rest in your mouth, don’t press it against your teeth. Go back up and check that space between your eyes. Did it get tense again? Release that tension. Now move to your neck, focus on relaxing all the muscles in your neck, and let your head and shoulders sink into the pillow. Move down the spine and take a deep breath to fill your lungs as full as they can go, and then release all the air. Breath out until you feel like there is no more air. Feel your back sink into the bed. Now take another deep breath and this time let it fill your belly. Breathe into your stomach and then release the breath as you relax your stomach and lower back, releasing all the days tension from your back. Check the space between your eyes again, it’s probably gotten tense again. Release that tension with a deep breath. Now move down to the legs and feet. Spend some time relaxing all the muscles in your legs and then spread your toes as far as you can. Relax your lets and feet. Now the arms. Move down from the shoulders and think of each muscle sinking into the bed as you relax. Now stretch your fingers apart and then squeeze them into a ball. Release and rest your hands. Take another deep breath.
If you aren’t asleep by now, you’re incurable. Probably. I’m telling you, I never make it to the shoulder relaxation. I’m usually asleep by the 2nd time I release the tension in my forehead. It sounds like a lot of stuff to memorize, but really, you’re just starting at the top of your head, moving toward your feet telling your body to relax one body part at a time.
Seriously. This works for me EVERY single time I’ve ever tried it. I believe this works mainly because not only are you forcing your body to relax, but you are making your mind focus on relaxing your body, so it doesn’t have time to think about everything that’s keeping you awake. I do catch my mind wandering sometimes during this, but I reign it back in and start over as soon as I notice.
If you have trouble sleeping, try this. Let me know if it works for you!