Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that can help quiet a racing mind or relax a tense body, both of which can contribute to insomnia. This technique involves gradually tensing and then relaxing your muscles, starting from your feet and working your way up your body.
To practice progressive muscle relaxation, lie on your back in bed in a comfortable position. You can place a pillow under your head or knees to relax your back, and rest your arms with palms up slightly apart from your body. Take several slow, deep breaths through your nose, and then exhale with a long sigh to release tension.
Focus on your toes and feet, and gradually curl your toes and arch your feet. Hold this movement briefly to feel the sensation, and then relax your muscles and let your feet sink into the bed. Continue to breathe softly and slowly move your attention up your body, tensing and then relaxing each area, including your calves, thighs, buttocks, lower back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and forehead. Relax any remaining tense spots and if thoughts distract you, ignore them and gently return your attention to your breathing.
This technique can be a helpful tool to use when you have trouble falling asleep, as it can help to quiet a racing mind or relax a tense body. Remember, however, to consult with a qualified clinician or doctor if you have any medical concerns or need direct medical advice.