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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Optimizing your Night's Sleep - Unwind First

Don't try to fall asleep directly after or while your brain is still cranking away. Do something that relaxes you in order to calm the internal chatter and slow the thought rate. Do some reading, write, meditate, whatever floats your boat; whatever is relaxing to you. If you are having trouble finding something relaxing here are a few things to try:

  1. Breathe deeply. Breathe in as much air as you can, hold it, then breathe in just a little bit more. Hold this for a few seconds and then let it out slowly, steadily, all the way, until there is no air left in your lungs. Hold it, then breathe out just a little bit more. Hold this for a few seconds. Do this 5-10 times a day.
  2. Breathe slowly. Inhale through the nose, taking in just a small stream of air, filling the lungs completely from the bottom all the way to the top. Breathe as slowly as possible and try to make the breath last as long as you can. Breathe out through the mouth and again, try to make this breath last as long as possible. Practice this 5-10 times.
  3. Be aware. Lie in a comfortable position and focus on your toes, feel what your toes feel think about what is going on inside of them. You should be able to feel them start to tingle if you focus hard enough. Do this for a few minutes, and then move onto your feet. Focus on the feet for a few minutes and then the ankles, lower legs, knees.. etc. All the way up the body.
  4. Stretch. Do some basic stretches to loosen up your muscles.

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