Try this Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) Exercize

22 November, 2011

progressive muscle relaxation

progressive muscle relaxation

Here is another great way to relax your mind.

Do this when you are already in bed.  The PMR exercise teaches you effective progressive muscle relaxation through a two-step process. First you deliberately tense certain muscle groups, and then you relax the muscles and turn your attention to noticing how the tension flows away.

Here is a step-by-step way to relax your muscles and your mind in preparation for sleep:

  1.  If you’re not already in bed, find a quiet place to perform the exercise.  It should be warm, free from distractions such as TV or music, and somewhere where you know you won’t be disturbed
  2.  Make yourself comfortable, loosening or removing your clothes
  3.  Plan on falling asleep before you finish the exercise – so don’t light candles but do be ready for bed
  4. (more…)

Relaxation 101: the benefits of deep breathing

19 November, 2011


deep breathing

deep breathing exercize

“I breathe slowly and deeply. I make my eyes still under eyelids, I make my mind still, and soon, Sleep, seeing a perfect reproduction of himself, comes to be united with his facsimile”.   Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife)

Yesterday, I talked about the various different techniques for relaxing both our bodies and our minds in order to get us into a relaxed state for sleep.

This Deep Breathing Exercise (also known as Diaphragmatic Breathing or Belly Breathing) is used in yoga and is one of my favorites.

The trick to this form of breathing is to inhale while extending your tummy rather than your chest. It is the foundation for yoga breathing and is a great way to reduce anxiety as well as to relax. (more…)

Relax your mind. 11 great ways to improve relaxation.

18 November, 2011

relax your mind

relax your mind

“Many things, such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly, are done worst when we try hardest to do them.”  C.S. Lewis

It’s Friday night, and you get home late from the office.  Even though the weekend stretches out ahead, you are anything but relaxed.

Yet you are aware that you must relax your mind.  All you can think about is the workload that you have been struggling with during the week, the irritating issues you have to deal with because they couldn’t be resolved before you left the office, that unfinished report, and the difficult conversation that you are going to have with your boss.

How to Read the Tell-Tale Signs of Teenage Depression and What You Can Do about It

17 November, 2011

teenage depression

teenage depression

Most parents are well aware that their teenage children experience bad moods and occasional bouts of melancholy. Teenage depression is a much more serious problem than that and can lead to a number of issues such as teenage drug abuse, on-going problems at school or in the home, and even suicide.

Fortunately, effective treatments for depression are available. Become proactive in your child’s life so that you can spot the warning signs of teenage depression and can then work to get your adolescent child back on the path to health.

Insomnia during pregnancy? 14 tips to get the rest you need

15 November, 2011

insomnia pregnancy

insomnia in pregnancy

Many women suffer from insomnia during pregnancy. According to a joint study conducted by St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia and Delaware County Memorial Hospital in USA, 97% of mums-to-be have trouble sleeping.

So what causes insomnia in pregnancy?

There are many possible causes including:

  • anxiety
  • fear
  • shortness of breath
  • morning sickness
  • excitement/anticipation
  • discomfort (tender breasts, backache, leg cramps etc.)
  • frequent bathroom visits
  • vivid dreams and nightmares
  • heartburn and acid reflux
  • baby kicking


Why pulling an all-nighter can have unexpected consequences. The effects of Sleep Deprivation.

14 November, 2011

sleep deprivation effects

sleep deprivation effects

Sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders can have a serious effect on health, going beyond just making us cranky and moody the following day.

More of us could be pulling an all-nighter than any generation before us.  Whether it is working on a presentation, writing a paper for school, or going on a bender for a friend’s birthday, we may be ignoring one of our body’s fundamental needs – sleep.

A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that there could be another, lesser-known side-effect.

The researchers studied the brains of healthy young adults and found that they experience short-term euphoria after a missed night of sleep.  But the study suggests that same neural pathway that stimulates feelings of euphoria, reward and motivation after a sleepless night may also lead to risky behavior.


Let there be light. 8 tips for creating the perfect sleep environment with lighting.

11 November, 2011

bedroom lighting

bedroom lighting

“Live in rooms full of light.”  Cornelius Celsus

Lighting in the bedroom is as important as decorating and furnishing. It needs to provide both ambient and task lighting to:

Create a restful mood in the evening before sleep and
Provide practical light to read and get dressed by and, in the morning, to prepare for the day.

Ideally, follow these tips for a practical lighting design that is flexible enough to work for everybody:


Why not just take sleeping pills?

10 November, 2011

sleeping pills

sleeping pills

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  Irish Proverb

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a pill and fall asleep, to wake feeling alert and refreshed the next morning?  This is the elusive goal that so many of the world’s drug companies are chasing.

Many people pop tablets every night in search of elusive sleep.  Some even have to continue taking a pill every hour until they eventually fall asleep.  A few, the late Michael Jackson included, have such severe sleeping problems that they have to be injected with a sleep medicine before being able to sleep.

How to adopt the best posture for sleep.

9 November, 2011

sleep posture

sleep posture

“A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by one after one; the sound of rain, and bees murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas, smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky – I’ve thought of all by turns, and still I lie sleepless…” William Wordsworth

Do you sleep on your back, your side or your stomach? 95% of adults have a regular position in which they like to sleep and very rarely change it. They may move around during the night, but usually go to sleep and wake up in the same position.

Very little of the research on sleep places enough emphasis on the correct posture to help you sleep. Proper posture while you sleep is essential.

22 sleep hygiene tips for perfect sleep.

7 November, 2011

sleep hygiene

sleep hygiene

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker

We can all practice lifestyle rituals that can directly affect our sleep.  We call this Sleep Hygiene.

If we follow a few simple steps each day, we should soon get a better night’s sleep.  Many of these ideas may seem like common sense, but it is amazing how often we ignore this simple advice and pay the price.

Poor sleep habits are among the most common problems encountered in our society.  We stay up too late and get up too early. We interrupt our sleep with drugs, unhealthy diet and work, and we over-stimulate ourselves with late-night activities.

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