6 Relaxation Techniques for Sleep
Read Time: 5 minutes
There’s no doubt about it: relaxation is restorative for the mind, body, and spirit. Generally speaking, it’s defined as a state of physical and mental calm. When achieved, relaxing brings a whole host of benefits. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, a sense of relaxation can help to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, boost your mood and cognition, as well as diminish fatigue. It’s the precursor to a good night’s sleep, too!
While relaxation and restful slumber go hand in hand, factors like pain, stress, anxiety, and/or poor sleep habits can have exactly the opposite effect. Fortunately, specific relaxation exercise techniques can actually help facilitate rest that rejuvenates. Visualization, mindful breathing, and even a variety of CBD products can all help with taming tension and anxiety so you can foster a state of total serenity.
Sleep: Why Is It So Important?
For the average adult, a “full night’s rest” means 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Although it may seem like a mundane aspect of your daily routine, having good sleep hygiene is of utmost importance in maintaining optimal health—both physically and mentally. More than an extended period of unconsciousness, sleep is an essential process that allows for the reparation and regeneration of your complex, interconnected body systems.¹⁻² A recent study found sleep may even foster the elimination of built-up toxins in the brain.³
Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to several serious conditions including cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea are common causes of sleep deprivation, but there are also other factors at the root of restlessness. Stress and anxiety can have a dire impact on your ability to sleep. When you experience stressful situations, your brain releases cortisol—the primary stress hormone.⁴ Cortisol triggers heightened alertness, which can result in shallow breathing, elevated heart rate, and raised blood pressure. This physiological process often leads to racing thoughts and anxiety. A combination of physical and mental tension can make relaxation feel elusive—and good rest out of reach. Fortunately, there are science-backed techniques that can help you find total relaxation and achieve better sleep.⁵
Relaxation Techniques For Sleep
Slow, deep breathing is a sure-fire way to generate relaxation in the body and mind. Mindful breathing techniques are excellent for releasing tension and creating a sense of stillness/mental calm at bedtime. There’s an endless number of breathing exercises to try out. For example, diaphragmatic breathing (AKA, belly breathing) encourages you to take deep and measured “belly breaths: while lying down on your back. Cleansing breathing exercises require taking several big, deep breaths to alleviate stress and relax muscles. With so many options at your disposal, a little research can help you uncover the breathing techniques that best suit your needs.
Defined as “something that comes from within yourself,” this technique relies on body awareness, visualization, and your own verbal cues to help reduce stress. Start by repeating relaxing words or phrases out loud (or in your mind) as you visualize a serene setting. Allow breathing to become slow and steady and focus on lowering your heart rate and releasing tension throughout your body—one section at a time. Autogenic training requires us to practice regularly for maximum effect. With consistent practice it can ease symptoms of stress and anxiety, and encourage better sleeping conditions.⁶
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Also known as deep muscle relaxation, this relaxation technique involves tensing groups of muscles one at a time, from head to toe. For best results, sit (or lie) down comfortably and then take some gentle breaths. Begin with tensing the muscles in your head and face on an inhale, hold for about five seconds, and release the tension as you exhale. After 30 seconds of rest, continue to work your way down your shoulders, back, arms, hands and stomach—one muscle group at a time—all the way down to the feet. Progressive muscle relaxation is thought to help bring areas of tension and relaxation into awareness.
This particular method involves refocusing all your attention on steady breathing while envisioning a peaceful and pleasant setting to help lull you to sleep. As you immerse yourself in this vision, incorporate scents, sounds, and other sensations into your mental landscape. This can help reduce heart rate, ease tension, and ultimately, lead to falling fast asleep.
Biofeedback differs from the previous methods in that it involves the use of technology. By placing electrodes on various points in your body, a biofeedback device can monitor processes such as heart rate, brain waves, temperature, and breathing. Using the device throughout the day helps you understand how your body reacts to external stimuli—providing an opportunity to identify individual stressors and develop the strategies to cope with them.
These are simply a handful of techniques that can be used to encourage deep relaxation and better sleep patterns. Additional methods include meditation, tai chi, yoga, massage, and aromatherapy. These soothing strategies are further enhanced by maintaining good sleep hygiene, a healthy sleep schedule, and a consistent CBD routine.
CBD Can Enhance Relaxation Techniques And Improve Sleep
For an ever-increasing number of restless consumers, cannabidiol (also known as CBD) has become the go-to, hemp-based, all-natural alternative for an increased sense of overall well-being. Research provides strong evidence its properties may be effective in helping alleviate anxiety and improve one’s sleep quality.⁷ In fact, consuming CBD before bedtime can aid in sustaining a good night’s rest without drowsiness the next day. It’s also thought to hold properties that support pain management, reduce inflammation and seizures, and promote heart health.⁸⁻⁹
When it comes to promoting a deeper sense of tranquility to help you get through the night, we have you covered. And if you are looking for ways on how to reset your sleep schedule, we have you covered to that extent as well. Our Sleep Collection offers the highest quality blend cannabinoids (at the lowest cost to you)—with our oil tincture and functional capsules (with or without melatonin) that all feature a potent formulation of full spectrum CBD, CBG, and CBN to promote a deeper sense of relaxation and healthier sleeping habits. However you decide to go after the restorative rest you need, make sure you explore our entire range of products offering effective relief with CBD ”Made to Work. Made for All.”