By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
We all know that a sound sleep can restore you both physically and mentally. Yet, according to national surveys, between 15 – 20 percent of the adult population suffers from difficulty falling asleep.
Your best rest will come when your body is physically ready for sleep.
Releasing muscular tension is the way to get it ready. If you have trouble getting to sleep, try this simple bedtime routine.
1. Sit on the side of your bed.
2. Start by pressing right foot down into the floor – tightening all the muscles of buttocks, hamstring group and lower leg – and then release. Repeat with left foot.
3. Pull in abdominal muscles and tighten, then release.
4. Make a fist with both hands and tighten them. Bring up both fists to touch the shoulders and tighten bicep muscles. At the same time, press the inside of your arms to the sides of body. —–Then release all tightening.
5. Squeeze shoulder blades together and feel tightening of upper back muscles. Release.
6. Lift shoulders up to ears and squeeze. Then release.
7. Drop right ear to right shoulder and press left palm down and away. Repeat exercise with left ear to left shoulder, pressing right palm down and away.
8. Facial muscle – squeeze eyelids together tightly and press lips together at the same time.
9. Then stretch mouth open wide as though saying the sound “ahh.” Open eyes wide and big.
10. Press tip of tongue to roof of mouth, then release.
11. End by clasping hands and fully extend arms forward. Round spine and stretch upper back. —–Continue the stretch, with the hands pushing up to ceiling and stretching to the right – and then to the left.
That’s the perfect way to end a day!