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Using Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Sleep

man uses progressive meditation

Many people struggle with sleep issues and insomnia that make falling asleep at night very difficult.  Sleep issues can occur for a variety of reasons, but are often caused by anxiety and an overactive mind.  While some people seem to be able to fall into a deep sleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, others lay awake for hours worrying about what they need to do the next day or replaying unpleasant past experiences.  For these people, progressive muscle relaxation is one technique that can be used to calm the mind and induce sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation is essentially a form of mindfulness or meditation that brings the individual into the present moment and allows them to focus on relaxing their bodies.  It can be used at any time for stress or anxiety but is especially helpful when attempting to fall asleep. It is important to create a quiet and peaceful environment in which to fall asleep before laying down to begin this technique.  Most experts recommend starting at the bottom of the body and moving up. You can begin by taking a deep breath in and contracting your feet and toes, holding for several seconds, and then exhaling while releasing your contracted muscles.  You should repeat this same process through every muscle group up the length of your body.

Getting to Sleep Faster 

Many of us hold tension in specific areas of our body without realizing it, and progressive muscle relaxation can help you identify where it is that stress settles in your body, and then allow you to release it.  Over time, this practice can result in improved mental health and better-quality sleep. Some people who suffer from sleep issues turn to alcohol or drugs to fall asleep at night, but this habit is dangerous and may lead to addiction.  Learning relaxation techniques can be a great alternative when recovering from substance abuse. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and mental health issues, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness.  If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.