For those struggling with insomnia, a racing mind or tense body can be the root cause of their sleep disturbances. A technique that can help quiet a restless mind and relax a stiff body is called progressive muscle relaxation. This approach involves gradually tensing and relaxing your muscles, starting from your toes and moving up to the top of your head.
To practice progressive muscle relaxation, begin by lying on your back in bed in a comfortable position, with a pillow under your head or knees to ease tension on your back. Rest your arms with palms facing up, slightly apart from your body. Take several slow, deep breaths through your nose, exhaling with a long sigh to release any remaining tension.
Begin by focusing on your toes and feet, curling them tightly and then arching them gently. Hold this position briefly to feel the sensation before relaxing the muscles and allowing your feet to sink into the bed. Gradually move your attention up to each part of your body, tensing and then relaxing each muscle group including those in your calves, thighs, buttocks, lower back, abdomen, upper back