For those struggling with insomnia, a racing mind or tense body can be the root cause of their inability to drift off to sleep. One effective technique for calming an active mind and relieving physical tension is progressive muscle relaxation. This approach involves tensing and relaxing your muscles systematically, starting from your toes and working your way up your body.
To practice progressive muscle relaxation, start by lying on your back in bed in a comfortable position, with a pillow under your head or knees to support your back. Position your arms with palms facing up, slightly away from your body. Take several deep breaths through your nose, exhaling slowly through pursed lips to release tension.
Begin by focusing on your toes and feet, curling them and arching them to feel the sensation. Hold this movement briefly before releasing it and relaxing the muscles in your feet. Gradually move your attention upwards, tensing each area of the body including your calves, thighs, buttocks, lower back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, arms, hands