Relaxation exercises to fall asleep

Hardly anyone is completely spared from  sleep disorders  , but with increasing age, problems falling and staying asleep increase. It’s only too quick to resort to sedatives and  sleeping pills . Relaxation exercises to help you fall asleep can be of great help. In this article you will find out how to recognize pathological sleep disorders, what the causes can be and which simple exercises help to fall asleep better.

How much sleep do you need?

“Sleep is to the whole human being what winding is to a clock.” Anyone who lacks healthy sleep can confirm how right Arthur Schopenhauer was with this saying. But what is healthy sleep? An adult needs around seven to eight hours, although the amount of sleep can vary individually – while some can get by with just six hours of sleep, others need more nine to ten hours to feel properly rested.

The four stages of sleep

During sleep, you go through several sleep phases that are of different depths. In a normal sleep pattern, the depth of sleep increases sharply after falling asleep, then decreases and transitions to a medium constant depth of sleep in the morning.

There are four sleep phases:

  1. sleep phase
  2. light sleep
  3. deep sleep
  4. REM sleep

If these sleep phases are frequently disrupted, i.e. if you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, this is referred to as a pathological sleep disorder (insomnia).

symptoms of insomnia

Probably everyone has had this experience: thoughts and worries are circling around in your head, you are really excited or nervous, you finally want to sleep and you can’t. Restless tossing and turning only makes matters worse.

There are different sleep disorders that are summarized under the term “insomnia”. One speaks of a difficulty falling asleep if it takes more than half an hour to fall asleep.

In addition, there are problems sleeping through the night if, after waking up in the night, more than half an hour elapses before the person concerned can fall asleep again.

Insomnia is when you have trouble sleeping at least three times a week for a month. Then you should seek medical advice to clarify the causes. Severe insomnia is treated with short-term medication. These include drugs with benzodiazepine or the active ingredients  zopiclone  or zolpidem. However, these  drugs  should not be taken lightly and especially not for a long time, as they can lead to dependency and side effects such as muscle weakness and  concentration problems  .

Causes of insomnia

The individual causes of sleep disorders are very different: family or professional worries and problems affect sleep in most cases,  depression even more . Some diseases such as chronic liver inflammation and physical pain also prevent a peaceful and healthy sleep.

Various exercises for falling asleep

Different exercises can help you fall asleep better. If you don’t get the results you want the first time, don’t give up. Sometimes the body has to “learn” to calm down again in the evening. Sleep rituals can help.

Breathing exercise to fall asleep

Lie on your back with or without a pillow, depending on your preference. Make yourself as comfortable as possible and make sure that nothing restricts you, such as a heavy duvet. Now place one hand flat on your chest and the other hand on your stomach, just below your navel.

Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, trying to clear yourself of all thoughts. Thoughts that come just let you move on. Focus on the breath and try to feel it clearly. The thoughts become fewer and fewer, the breath becomes deeper and calmer. When you feel relaxed, the exercise can be stopped.

Yoga exercise to fall asleep

Lie on your back in bed and cup the back of your head with your palms. Then gently pull your hands down your neck. Now lay your head on the  mattress , your arms are relaxed beside your body, your palms are facing up. The legs are stretched and slightly open, the toes point outwards.

Close your eyes and try to relax every part of your body. It’s best to start with your feet. You should breathe evenly and calmly, simply letting disturbing thoughts come and go until they disappear. Surrender to the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling. All tension is released to the ground.

You can also imagine a staircase with ten steps that you go down step by step. Stop for a few seconds at each stage and imagine yourself becoming more relaxed and calm with each stage. At level ten, you have reached a high level of relaxation. Here you stay for a while before stretching out quietly and with relish.

Exercise for the facial muscles

Consciously relaxing your face can also help you to rest better in the evening. To do this, the facial muscles are first tensed: Squint your eyes, clench your teeth, press your  tongue  against the roof of your mouth, wrinkle your nose and raise your eyebrows. Then hold the tension for about 15 seconds and then release it.

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