Sleep Inducing Techniques

An often neglected side benefit of regular total body relaxation is an improved ability to fall asleep quickly and to sleep soundly. Many of the people who participate in relaxation programs report that they use these exercises as a means of relaxing - and then drift to sleep from this relaxed state.

There are two main reasons why relaxation techniques are useful for inducing sleep. First, a relaxed body is prepared for sleep; and second, when you focus your attention inward on a specific routine, you are less likely to think about outside stimuli or thoughts that would hinder the sleeping process.

Body Search For Sensations

  • Assume your desired sleeping position. As you focus on your exhalation, exhale and relax.
  • For two or three exhalations, focus on the supporting environment and allow the environment to support your body as you continue to exhale, and r-e-l-a-x.
  • Following these exhalations, allow your attention to wander through the body. There is no set sequence, nor should you be in a hurry. As you "move" through the body, identify any sensations that you may feel or sense (heaviness, warmth, heartbeat, coolness, twitching, pressure, gurgling in the stomach or intestines, tension, stillness.)
  • Upon identifying a sensation, mentally acknowledge the sensation in your mind's eye and continue to wander through the body and passively search for others. You will notice that the number of sensations diminishes after a few minutes. As the mind continues to focus inward on the body, the mind will become quiet and sleep will result.

Counting Coupled With Breathing Rhythm

  • Assume your desired sleeping position. As you focus on your exhalation, exhale and relax.
  • For two or three exhalations, focus on the supporting environment and allow that environment to support your body as you continue to exhale, and r-e-l-a-x.
  • As you continue to focus in the exhalation phase, count in sequence from one to ten and then from ten to one. Count one number per exhalation and repeat this sequence until sleep results.
  • Variation: Count backward from ninety-nine until sleep results.