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Five steps to help you fall back to sleep

Five steps to help you fall back to sleep

Do you at times wake up in the middle of the night wide awake and are unable to fall back to sleep?

Some reasons why a person might wake up in the middle of the night and is unable to fall back to sleep are due to stress, anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure. It is suggested to not utilize electronic devices to help you fall back to sleep due to this form of activity actually keeps your brain active, causing you to stay awake longer.

A simple technique that has been found to help relax a person enough to fall back to sleep is a shorthand progressive relaxation procedure in five short steps.

  1. Curl both fists, tightening biceps and forearms. Relax.
  2. Roll your head around on your neck clockwise in a complete circle, then reverse. Relax.
  3. Wrinkle up the muscles of your face like a walnut: forehead wrinkled, eyes squinted, mouth opened, and shoulders hunched. Relax.
  4. Arch your shoulders back as you take a deep breath into your chest. Hold. Relax. Take a deep breath, pushing out your stomach. Hold. Relax.
  5. Straighten your legs and point your toes back toward your face, tightening your shins. Hold. relax. Straighten your legs and curl your toes, simultaneously tightening your calves, thighs, and buttocks. Relax.

Repeat each procedure at least once, tensing each muscle group from five to seven seconds, and then relaxing from 15 to 30 seconds.

You can find more ways to help fall asleep or reduce other symptoms by reading The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman and Matthew McKay.

Anne K. Carlsen is a Provisional Clinical Social Worker (PCSW) in the Campbell County Medical Group Kid Clinic. The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic in Gillette, Wyoming. The medical clinic serves children ages 2 weeks to 18 years old; and counseling services for children 4 years old to 21 years old. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Gillette, Wyoming. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700. The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District.