Many times when you have trouble falling asleep at night, the problem is underlying tension, but many people don't know how to relax. Learning to truly relax is essential to good overall health, and the following technique will show you how.
Lie down in bed comfortably on your back and close your eyes. Begin to breathe very slowly, and become conscious of the weight of your body; then begin to focus on your feet. Consciously relax your toes, then your feet, then your ankles. Do this slowly and methodically, one step at a time, being conscious of each body part and its weight in the bed.
Become conscious of your legs and their weight. Slowly begin to relax your calves, then relax your knees and your thighs. Become conscious of your buttocks. Relax them and feel them melt into the bed.
Begin to become consious of your torso and its weight in the bed. Slowly relax your lower back and abdomen and feel your torso sink slowly into the mattress. Then slowly relax your chest and upper back, feeling the weight of them melt into the bed.
Become conscious of your hands and arms. Begin by relaxing your fingers, then your hands, then your wrists. Feel the weight of your arms and slowly relax them and feel them sink into the bed.
Feel your shoulders sink back into the bed as you relax them. Then your neck and then your head. Relax and unclench your jaw and mouth. Become conscious of your eyes and relax them slowly. Relax your entire face.
Scan your body for any tension that might be left and relax that area. Allow your entire body to melt into the bed, and continue breathing slowly.
This technique can be enhanced by creating a recording of yourself giving the instructions, leaving a short pause between each body part.