For some individuals with insomnia, a racing or anxious mind is their primary obstacle to sleep, while for others, physical tension is the culprit. One effective method to calm an overactive mind or loosen up tense muscles is a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This approach involves gradually tensing and relaxing your muscles, starting from your toes and working your way up your body. It can be particularly helpful when trying to fall asleep.
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 relax 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 tension.
Focus on your toes and feet first, curling them and arching them to feel the sensation. Hold this movement briefly before relaxing the muscles and allowing your feet to sink into the bed. Slowly move up your body, tensing each area including your calves, thighs, buttocks, lower back, abdomen, upper back