This Morning: Insomniac describes her crippling condition
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Numerous obstacles often stand in the way of a good night’s sleep. Perhaps you’re having a hard time quieting a busy mind. Thankfully, it’s easier than it seems to reset your body clock: you just need to be equipped with the right tools.
In fact, simple facial exercises can help get you to sleep in “five minutes or less”, said Leva Kubiliute, Wellness Psychologist at oliolusso.com.
Ms Kubiliute swore by progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) techniques to facilitate the sleep process.
“PMR focuses on unwinding the body by relaxing deep muscles and relieving all the tension that hinders peaceful sleep,” the wellness psychologist explained.
To kick off the exercise, you must tighten your face muscles by lifting the eyebrows for about five to 10 seconds as you take shallow, slow breaths, said Ms Kubiliute.
- Drop the tension on your face and relax all your muscles as you smile
- Drop the shoulders, hands, and neck in a comfortable position to relieve all tension.
- Relax the lower body in a downward movement as you take long, deep
- breaths and exhale slowly.
- Visualise yourself in a calm or relaxed state with the eyes closed and after clearing all troubling thoughts.
How specifically does PMR help?
“Progressive muscle relaxation is a relaxation exercise in which you systematically tense and then relax all the muscle groups of your body,” explained Phil Gehrman, PhD, assistant professor of clinical psychology at Penn Medicine and clinical director of Penn Medicine’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Penn Sleep Center in Philadelphia.
“It helps promote overall physical relaxation, which has a number of benefits on its own.”
Speaking to Everyday Health, Professor Gehrman said progressive muscle relaxation can help relieve insomnia in two ways.
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Many people who have trouble falling asleep get physically tense and restless.
“Progressive muscle relaxation can help with physically relaxing the body,” Prof Gehrman said.
It can also have a calming effect on the mind.
Prof Gehrman explained: “When you are focusing on doing this exercise, it helps to relax your mind.”
Ms Kubiliute also touted the “military method” for addressing your sleep woes.
“This is one of the most effective sleeping methods any individual can try,” the wellness expert said.
She continued: “It’s highly used by the military and other people on tight schedules or noisy places to rest quickly.”
Firstly, you should get into a comfortable position and relax all your muscles, including those on the face, Ms Kubiliute said.
“Calm your inner self by dropping the shoulders and hands; this eases unnecessary tension,” she explained.
You then relax the chest, legs, calves, and stomach, the wellness expert said.
“Try to avoid thinking about anything or clear all thoughts in your brain; phrases like don’t think can help you stop thinking.”
Finally, “close your eyes and enjoy your beauty sleep”, Ms Kubiliute added.
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