Insomnia is an inability to sleep, not depending upon the number of hours which you sleep, but on the quality of your sleep and also on how you feel after you have woken. So, even if you are sleeping those ideal eight hours during the night and feel tired after the slumber, you may be experiencing insomnia. Most of the time people suffering from insomnia yield to medication as it provides fast results and is convenient. However, medicines can become addictive and a point is reached when you cannot do without them. But did you know that there are many behavioral strategies and exercises for curing insomnia, which are free from side effects and risks.

Here’s a lowdown on some of the important exercises which will have significant long lasting effects:

Relax and manage stress: Generally, if you are relaxed before you go to bed, you will have a great sleep. Some of the relaxation techniques include counting of numbers backwards. The secret here is to deactivate the overly active neuron activity in your brain so that it becomes bored and go off to sleep.

Next technique is to perform some deep breathing exercises, which involve chest, lower abdomen, lower back and ribcage. By inhaling fully and deeply, your parasympathetic nervous system that controls relaxation will get affected, resulting in comfort and sleep. Additionally, since you are actually inhaling more oxygen, your blood supply increases, within the body and brain, making the vital nutrients, which help in sleeping better like calcium to flow to the brain. This practice is liberally taught in Reiki and Art of Living.

Progressive muscle relaxation: This is perhaps the easiest exercise in which all you have to do is tense all your muscles right to the toes, and then suddenly relax them. If you do this for all the muscle groups in your body, you will surely get into a deep slumber within minutes. Acute stress causes high muscular tension. So, when you have tensed and relaxed the muscles, the tension level drop below your normal level, thereby producing even better relaxation. However, remember to become comfortable before performing this exercise.

Meditation is yet another great exercise that cures insomnia effectively. In this, you actually work on the fundamental aspect of meditation whereby you are focusing on a word or an object or your breathing. All these activities lead to quieter thoughts so that you completely unwind from the day’s stress.

If you feel relaxed when you reach your dreamland, then go ahead and imagine the most beautiful place. Visual imagery is a technique that will help you in distracting your mind from the existing problems. In this mental exercise, you should craft images that consume 100% of your mind and you should get completely lost and look like ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It is not necessary that you close your eyes for this, but most people prefer to shut themselves from the world.

Avoid too much stimulation to your brain just before you are getting ready to sleep such as watching TV. I know a lot of us watch that last hour’s show in bed, especially if you are Dexter fan like me! However it really can stop you from relaxing.

By taking on some of the above suggestions, a good night’s sleep is better much guaranteed. Until next time – good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite…

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