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How Muscle Relaxation Can Help You Cope With Insomnia

Ms. Nida Ghani

3 min read

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Insomnia is a sleep disorder that prevents one from falling asleep easily and have quality sleep. It is marked by frequent interruptions in the sleep, and difficulty falling back to sleep after these breaks. It also marked by waking up early, yet not getting sufficient sleep-time.

Needless to say, Insomnia is extremely hard to deal with.  

Moreover, not getting sufficient shuteye in the night makes the day unbearable too. Riddled with fatigue, it is very hard to function well physically during the day. Not just this, it has dire impact on the mood as well and makes one temperamental and surly too. 

It also leads to performance issues. Students cannot concentrate on their lectures and their grades suffer. Adults have slowed reactions and their proficiency levels drops. Children, on the contrary, become more hyper and have greater tendency to misbehave. 

Therefore, Insomnia has an impact on all facets of life. 

Insomnia is a serious condition

Adequate sleep is imperative for maintaining health. An adult needs around 7-9 hours of sleep. Brain needs this break to plan for the next day. Body uses this time to mend the wear and tear it sustained during the day. 

Therefore, when one does not get adequate sleep, they are groggy. Perpetual lack of sleep that stems from insomnia leads to brain not performing well. Problem solving, decision making, modulation of emotions etc., all suffer.

Moreover, Insomnia can also lead to mental diseases too. It is one of the major symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also causes mood swings, irritability, and in worst case, it can lead to  suicide as well.

Physical health too suffers from insomnia. Immune system, the body’s defense mechanism, is not able to function properly when one does not have their sleep requirements met. It also increases the risk of obesity. In children, it can cause troubles with puberty whereas in adults, it can lead to fertility issues. 

Insomnia needs treatment

Seeking treatment for insomnia is extremely important considering its harmful impacts. However, it is not very easy to treat.  Medication might help you for a while but it does more harm than good. A lot of psychologists are of the view that insomnia is more psychological than physiological. 

Therefore, sleep hygiene should be observed to get a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, supplement it with muscle relaxation for insomnia to have a comprehensive sleep-aid to battle the sleep disorder. 

One such relaxation technique is PMRS (Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques) and can potentially be eextremely helpful. This therapy was first introduced in 1915’s and published in the 1920’s. 

PMRS essentially involves contracting and stretching every muscle in the body whilst withholding and releasing breath. This tensing and relaxing rhythm with orchestrated breathing presents as an ideal way for muscle relaxation for insomnia. 

Besides this, PMRS are also known to provide overall relaxation. However, to achieve this, the therapy has to be done frequently to be effective. 

Moreover, PMRS  reduces stress levels, anxiety, blood pressure, and fatigue; all of these factors contributing towards a better wellbeing and improved quality of sleep. This is how the Progressive Muscle Relaxation can actually help with insomnia.

Muscle Relaxation for Insomnia:

Progressive muscle relaxation techniques aid to physically relax the body and release all the tension and all the worry, putting your body at total relaxation, which helps you sleep.Mind and body are linked, if the body is relaxed, the mind also tends to be relaxed and vice versa. 

Added benefit of relaxation therapies like PMRS is that they just involve muscle relaxation for insomnia, and therefore are totally safe; no harmful medicines or complicated and dangerous postures are taken up. Moreover, its benefits are not restricted to remedying insomnia alone, as a relaxed body is more conducive to productivity and health. 

Mental Relaxation:

The mind can be seen as the control center. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques require you to focus on every single muscle of your body and then on your breathing, which diverts your mind from the overwhelming train of thoughts and relaxes your mind.

How to Do It?

PMRS is very easy to do; it just takes 10-15 minutes to get right, however, you can take longer than that. To perform PMRS, lie down on a quiet place, tense the muscles starting from the foot, hold it for a few seconds and release. Do it over the course of 20 seconds. 

Focus on your breathing. Inhale while you tense your muscles and exhale when you relax your muscles. Tighten and relax every muscle in your body, from foot, legs, and hips to abdomen, shoulders, neck, and face.

 Take your time and breathe, let go of everything that is bothering you. Every worry, every problem, let it all out as you exhale. This is your time, time to take care of yourself and your wellbeing. Just breathe and relax your muscles, shift your focus from the racing thoughts to your breath and remember that consistency is the key. 

Doing it twice a day, without skipping any day in between is what that would make it so effective. Once your mind and body are relaxed, you will be able to sleep well. Drinking warm milk also helps you to fall asleep.

The key to cope with insomnia is essentially to keep your mind, body and heart at peace. And the best way to do that is to incorporate proper muscle relaxation techniques in your routine.

 For more help, you can book an appointment with the top psychologist in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Nida Ghani
Ms. Nida Ghani - Author "Ms. Nida Ghani is a Psychologist practicing in Lahore. Over the last 3 years, she has been helping her patients deal with various mental and psychological conditions. You can get an appointment with her through oladoc."

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