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Sleep Disorders If you spend too much time lying awake in bed at night or frequently nod off during the day, you may suffer from a sleep disorder. It is disruptive for a person's day-to-day life.

Sleep Disorders

If you are deprived of sleep, you usually experience fatigue and drowsiness. You remain inactive throughout the day and are maybe even looked down on by others. A lack of quality sleep can cause accidents, affect relationships, health, and mental ability. It can also make one feel disconnected from the world.

Chronic insomnia treatment can be managed in several ways. Some people focus on diet, nutrition, herbs, and supplements. Others believe in the positive effect of exercise, relaxation and sensory techniques, meditation or behavioral and cognitive strategies. There are several relaxation techniques for anxiety that often help people with sleep problems in getting a good night's sleep. [1]

Relaxation Training for Sleep Disorders

Methods such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), deep breathing techniques, imagery, and meditation may help some people overcome a sleep disorder. 
PMR involves helping the individual to sequentially tense and relax the major muscle groups while concentrating on and contrasting sensations of tension and relaxation. Daily practice of relaxation techniques between therapy sessions is essential and tends to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. [2] Relaxation techniques include the following.

Engage Your Mind In Counting Or Spelling

Engage your mind in something unimportant like spelling or counting backward, which can help you relax. The secret is to numb your brain by making it perform a dull, boring task.

Progressive Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is easy to do. This technique is often most useful when you tape the instructions beforehand. You can read the instructions slowly, leaving a short pause after each one. Lie down or make yourself comfortable. Starting at your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can. Then, after tensing, completely relax your muscles. Continue to do this for every muscle group in your body, working your way up from your feet to the top of your head. [3]

Toe Tensing

This one may seem like a bit of a contradiction to the previous one, but by alternately tensing and relaxing your toes, you draw tension from the rest of the body. Lie on your back, close your eyes. Feel your toes. Now pull all ten toes back toward your face. Count to 10 slowly. Now relax your toes and again count to 10 slowly. Repeat the above cycle ten times. [4]

Deep Breathing

When you concentrate on breathing, deep breathing allows the rest of your body to relax. Deep breathing is an excellent way to get your body into synchrony. Relaxation breathing is an important part of yoga and martial arts for this reason. While breathing deeply and fully, involving not only the chest, but also the belly, lower back, and rib cage, breathing helps our parasympathetic nervous system, which controls relaxation. [5
 
For deep breathing; close your eyes, and try taking deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You can try making each exhale a little longer than your inhale.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is the use of your imagination to promote mental and physical health. It can be self-directed, where the individual puts himself into a relaxed state and creates his images, or directed by others. When directed by others, you'll listen to a therapist, video, or audiotaped exercise that leads you through a relaxation and imagery exercise. Some therapists also use guided imagery in group settings. [6]

Guided imagery involves two components — the first element involves reaching a state of deep relaxation through breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. During the relaxation phase, you'll close your eyes and focus on your slow breathing. You'll focus on releasing the feelings of tension from your muscles, starting with the toes and working up to the top of the head.
 
Once you achieve complete relaxation, the second element of the exercise is the imagery, or visualization, itself. There are many different types of guided imagery techniques, limited only by the imagination. Some commonly used types include relaxation imagery, healing imagery, pain control imagery, and mental rehearsal.

Quiet Ears

Quiet ears is another relaxation technique for managing sleep disorders. Lie on your back with your eyes closed. Place your hands behind your head. Make sure they are relaxed. Put your thumbs in your ears so that you close your ear canal. You will hear a high-pitched rushing sound. This is normal. Listen to this sound for 10-15 minutes. Then put your arms at your sides, actively relax them and go to sleep.

Guided Relaxation   

Guided relaxation can be helpful when learning relaxation techniques. It is a script that you follow step by step to relax. It may include a combination of deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and visual imagery. Listening to a text before bed is a good way to incorporate several techniques. An example of guided relaxation is autogenic training; specific exercises that can make your body feel warm, heavy, and relaxed. [7]

Meditation

Mediation is the opposite of the imagery technique since it involves clearing your mind of all possible thoughts and mental images. Meditating is an active process involving focusing on breathing, a word, an object, or your body’s sensations to “quiet your thoughts” and unwind. When performed alongside other breathing and relaxing techniques, it is a powerful method of falling asleep (by inducing deep relaxation) for those who have been properly trained in how to achieve this tranquil state. [8]

White Noise 

Studies researched the use of white noise on quality and duration of sleep and concluded that white noise improved the quality of patients' sleep, but it had no effect on duration of sleep. White noise is therefore recommended as a method for masking environmental noises, improving sleep, and maintaining sleep. [9

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