Learn self-calming exercises to relieve stress and break the cycle of insomnia for a full night's sleep.

How can I overcome insomnia?

Insomnia can create a vicious cycle. Stress can cause a lack of sleep, and the inability to sleep can make that stress even worse. Now that we know the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, we can talk about how to break that cycle and get to sleep. Stress-reducing techniques can help get our minds and bodies ready to sleep - and get the rest we need.

Below are self-calming exercises to use during the day to help relieve stress so our minds will be clear at night. You will also find other techniques to implement shortly before bed to make it easier for your head to hit the pillow and be ready for a full night’s rest.

Exercises to overcome insomnia

Autogenic Training

This relaxation exercise has been studied for over 100 years and has been proven to treat insomnia. It teaches your body to have a certain reaction to specific words and phrases. If you listen to our audio file each night before you go to bed, you can train it to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. If you wake up in the middle of the night, just listen to it again to get back to sleep.

Listen to Autogenic Training Exercise


Paced Breathing

This paced breathing exercise is designed to help you move out of a stressful, emotional state and into a calmer, more balanced state. Research shows that generating positive, emotional states creates emotional changes, increased access to intuition and creativity, cognitive and performance improvement, and favorable changes in hormonal balance.

Here’s how to do it:

Slow your breathing rate to 5-7 breaths per minute by breathing in and out for 5 counts

Try to focus on people, places or activities that you love and appreciate

As you think about these people, places and activities, make sure you focus on the feeling of love, happiness and appreciation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

When having trouble falling asleep, stress can begin to mount. Our brains start thinking about the consequences of not sleeping and our muscles start to tense up. By using progressive muscle relaxation, we focus on easing tension in specific muscles and making it a whole lot easier to drift off. Listen to audio of a progressive muscle relaxation walk-through to help ease tension and fall asleep more quickly.

 

Listen to Progressive Muscle Relaxation Meditation

Relaxation Music

Play calming music as you’re getting ready for bed and while you drift off. Try creating a playlist to listen to every night that gets you in the mood for sleep, or listen to the calming audio in these YouTube videos.






Sleep Hygiene

Create a healthy bedtime routine that starts an hour before going to bed. Try including things like avoiding caffeine at night and turning off blue screens like cell phones, tablets and laptops.

Download our sample sleep schedule to get an idea of how building a nightly routine can make it easier to fall asleep at night and avoid the stresses of insomnia.

Moving Into Stillness

One of the things that can keep you from falling asleep is thinking of all the things you have to do the next day or the fact that you just can't seem to fall asleep. To help stop your mind from wandering, listen to our Moving Into Stillness mediation exercise as you go to bed. It will help you be more in the moment, rid your mind of stressors you’ve experienced throughout the day and be more aware of your body as you drift off into sleep.

Listen to Moving Into Stillness Meditation

Insomnia Toolbox

Resilience Toolbox

Carol Hester

An Oasis for the Soul

"Turning Point is free and it's priceless. If I have a freaky moment, I know I have the skills to stop and get my thoughts back on track. My life is so much more enjoyable. How do you attach a value to that?"