Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mind Your P's and Q's Easy Sleep Techniques Meditation and Self Hypnosis

In my last post Yoga Positions to Sleep Easy I talked a little about how meditation can relax a restless mind. Meditation or even self-hypnosis takes patients and practice to achieve the maximum benefit and allow you to get the quality and quantity of easy sleep you need. Not only does meditation/self-hypnosis help with sleep problems it can also keep your stress levels under control during the day. Mind you p’s and q’s easy sleep techniques for meditation/self-hypnosis are: patients, practice, quality and quantity. We will show how each is equally important if you are going to be successful using meditation/self-hypnosis to improve your sleep.


[caption id="attachment_545" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Mind your P's and Q's Easy Sleep Techniques - Clear Your Mind"][/caption]

There are ways to change your lifestyle that will help to promote better sleep. Learning to relax your body and calm your mind takes time, so be patient. Using these three tips along with meditation can help you achieve a deeper relaxation. The nature of meditation is practicing concentration and letting go, in order to let go you need to (1) slow down before going to bed. Not only your body should slow down, but you should start to clear your mind or in other words power down. Shut off all external stimulation such as; TV, computer, video games, etc. Spend at least an hour unwinding by taking a bath, some light reading or writing in your journal. Writing in a journal can get your daily activities out of your head. You can also achieve this by writing a to-do-list for yourself for tomorrow’s activities.

(2) Make sure you have eaten your last meal at least 2-3 hours before going to bed. You do not want your body to still be digesting when you are trying to concentrate on meditation or self-hypnosis. Also you may experience heart burn, indigestion or acid reflux during the night which will only wake you up. If you need to snack before bedtime stick to easily digested foods and foods that are fully of tryptophan.

(3) Did you know that our nostrils are associated with two different energies? Our right nostril energizes and stimulates, while your left nostril relaxes and calms. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils every 2 – 21/2 hours. After we eat our breathing changes naturally to the left nostril to provide the energy we need to digest food. This is one reason why we feel sleepy after a meal, especially a Thanksgiving meal when most of the food is full of tryptophan. Before lying down sit quietly on your bed and block off the right nostril. To encourage sleep, breathe long and deeply trying to slow down your breathing to 4 or less breathes per minute. If you are still digesting food when you lay down lay on your left side as this side will keep your right nostril open. If not, lay down on your right side to keep your left nostril open to promote calmness.

Being patient by taking the time to change some of your lifestyle habits will allow your meditation or self-hypnotic suggestions fade away all distractions as your mind becomes focused and you achieve deep relaxation.


Practicing “Good and Plenty” meditation/self-hypnosis techniques you will be able to work better, live better and love better. What this means, you not only have to practice plenty of times, you also need to do it well (good). Common meditation/self-hypnosis techniques are; deep breathing, visualization, auto-suggestions, progressive relaxation and a visual exercise.

Visual Exercise

Close your eyes about 9/10th and focus on the tip of your nose. Bring your index finger to the front of your face and look at it and keep looking at your finger as you slowly bring it to the tip of your nose. Focusing the eyes at the tip of the nose causes your optic nerve to be stimulated thus stimulating the pineal and pituitary glands. Your pineal produces more melatonin a hormone that is associated with controlling your sleep/wake cycle. More on melatonin see: Melatonin Can Cause Easy Sleeping

Deep Breathing

While lying in bed get into a comfortable position with your hands at either side or on your belly. Breathe in slowing through your nose and complete fill your diaphragm; hold it for a count of eight. Exhale slowly out of your mouth counting backwards 8 to 1. Repeat at least three times before continuing to another method. Try to lower your heart rate and breathes per minute. Concentrating on your breathing will distract you from thinking about other thoughts and alleviate your stress.


On the self-hypnotic tape I use you are instructed to imagine yourself in a peace place. Common places are floating in the clouds, swinging on a hammock, lying on the beach or sitting on a mountain. You can focus on something general or specific as long as it is a place where you feel safe.


During your deep breathing and visualization incorporate the word “relax” after each exercise this will help your mind fall asleep deeper and your body to slow down its heart rate. You can also repeat a word over and over again slower than the time before as you move your eyes left to right each time you say the word. This exercise not only keeps you focus away from your active thoughts it also helps reduce your heart rate. Controlling your breathing while giving yourself an auto-suggestion will strengthen the nervous system and regenerate your nerves. After a few months of practicing this method your rhythm of your breathing will come naturally and eventually you will fall asleep faster. This technique is good to recover from fatigue caused by normal stress and jet lag.

Progressive Relaxation

After you have visualized a peaceful place you can start your progressive relaxation. Lay your arms at your side and start to work the muscles beginning at your toes. Flex, hold and release concentrating on each muscle group (calves, thighs, buttock, arms, torso and head), all the while inhaling as you flex and exhaling as you release, you can also tell yourself to relax after each release. You should be completely relaxed; if not asleep by the time you reach your head. Make sure there are no external distractions in your bedroom such as light or noise. You can use a meditation/self-hypnotic CD or MP3 that will instruct you or you can listen to other soothing music or sounds like ocean waves or rainfall, if outside noises cannot be eliminated.


[caption id="attachment_546" align="alignright" width="257" caption="Mind your P's and Q's Easy Sleep Techniques - Sleep Quality and Quantity"][/caption]

“Good and Plenty” sleep is the quality and quantity of sleep you should get in order to function normally every day without wanting to take a nap. Insomnia symptoms include not only the inability to fall asleep but the inability to stay asleep during the night. This lack of good sleep leaves people unable to feel energized and refreshed upon waking up. Many insomniacs know they will be tired if they only get a couple of hours each night (adults require 7-8 hours of sleep), but they also know they will function poorly if their sleep was interrupted during the night or if they do not fall into a deep sleep.

Doctors are known to prescribe sleep-aid drugs to treat insomnia, but these drugs only help the quantity of sleep and not the quality. Prescription sleep aides often promote light sleep rather than deep sleep that cause a hangover effect the following day. These medications are also known to have bad side effects, are addictive and interfere with other medications.

Yet these drugs are often used for short-term treatment of insomnia to prevent an occasional case of insomnia from developing into chronic insomnia. Without deep sleep your body cannot restore itself, rejuvenate your cells, recharge your immune system, clear your mind and make your body stronger or healthier. The quality of sleep is just as important to your health as the quantity.

Making lifestyle changes and clearing the mind with meditation or self-hypnosis may offer drug-free alternatives to traditional insomnia treatments. The content provided in Mind Your P’s and Q’s Easy Sleep Techniques – Meditation/Self-Hypnosis is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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