You are in troubled waters if you are sleep deprived. It gets onto your nerves; you are cranky and cannot get along with people. You make terrible mistakes at work and the road ahead seems gloomy and depressing. Our lifestyle is a major factor.
Long hours of driving or working on the computer, diminished movement of body muscles and prolonged periods of stress stiffen the muscles of our back and make us too strung up to relax or sleep. This results in several hours of feverish restlessness leading to troubled and shallow sleep.
But do not lose sleep over it. There are several effective relaxation techniques that unwind your muscle and keeps you flexible enough to fall asleep. Here are some of them:
1. Wind-relieving Pose
Pawanamuktasana literally means the yogic posture that relieves wind. It instantly relaxes the complete spine, specifically the lower thighs and the back, and removes the hardness of the muscles. It also works on the intestines. This is the way to go about it.
- Lie relaxed on your back and slowly raise your legs at a right angle from the floor.
- Fold your legs at the knees until the thighs rest against the abdomen. Always keeping the ankles and knees together.
- Reach out with both hands and wrap it around the knees even as you inhale.
- Press your knees to your abdomen and go on exhaling.
- Stay in that pose and continue breathing deeply for a minute, all the while concentrating on the diaphragm. While inhaling, let the legs slide away from your body and while exhaling, let it come towards it.
- Stay focused on relaxing the thighs, hips and abdomen, and the lower back.
2. The Feet On The Wall
This posture relaxes your legs and lowers back. It opens up your chest and fills the lungs with oxygen even as you go to sleep.
- Keep a pillow under your lower back.
- Raise your legs vertically against a wall.
- Spread your hands sideways and open up your chest. Breathe calmly and relax as you remain in that pose for a couple of minutes.
3. Waving off to sleep
An exercise which is even more effective is the wave exercise. This exercise unwinds your back. It penetrates deeply into the spinal muscles. The exercise is divided into two steps.
- Place small towels that have been rolled under your neck and waist.
- Swing both feet sideways staying relaxed all the while.
- Roll your head at the same time gently without over-stretching your neck. Movements should be limited to what the body permits. You will feel the vibration coursing through the spine.
- Exercise for a minute.
- Lie facing down on your abdomen and place a pillow under your forehead.
- Place your outstretched arms beside and rest your toes, pointing it at the bed.
- Again, simultaneously shake both your feet sideways for a minute and you can feel the wave transmitting through your whole body.
It literally means the corpse posture. Lie on your back – face pointing up. Stretch your hands slightly and point your palms up. Place a folded towel beneath your neck and head.
- Concentrate on relaxing your body: starting at your toes and finishing at the top of your head.
- Complete around 20 breathing cycles and slowly adopt a more relaxed breathing cycle. Gradually, clear your mind. Let go of the thought process and watch them waft by.
- You will gradually feel the world disappearing and your body functions switching off. You have succeeded in drifting off to your sleep. Wake up, refreshed.