You workout, you do yoga, you even meditate – so why can’t you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow?
Just as you’ve got to be up for a while (and perhaps consume some caffeine) before you’re ready to face the day, you need a reverse process at night — one that helps you wind down the nervous system and settle the mind so that you can be still enough to release into sleep.
In my last post, I covered one great way to do just that with an exercise that simply asks you to get on the floor and breathe. It’s called constructive rest and I borrowed it from a mind body school called the Alexander Technique. I swear by constructive rest to heal a wide variety of ailments, from insomnia to anxiety to back pain. In case you missed it, check it out.
The technique I’m covering today comes to us via acupressure – the DIY, needle-less form of acupuncture that uses your very own hands to regulate the flow of energy, or chi, in your body.
This trick is great because you can do it when you’re lying in bed, and you don’t risk waking your partner.
It works by calming the energy that flows along the front of your torso on a pathway known as the Conception Vessel which carries your most primal energy. So soothing this channel helps your whole being feel cozy and safe. It creates the perfect conditions for drifting off.
Part One: Heart and Solar Plexus
While lying on your back in bed, bring one palm to rest on your heart and the other to your solar plexus, e.g., the soft space just beneath the bottom of the breastbone.
Stay here and breathe normally until you notice that you’re feeling calmer, perhaps heavier.
Then bring the top hand—the one on your heart—to your low belly, just below the belly button.
Stay here until your eyelids are heavy and… boom. You’re out.
The Guinea Pig Test
I asked two volunteers to give this a trial run and report back. Here’s what they –Coach Alison, my fellow Acacia blogger who is a basically OK sleeper, and her husband, Chris, who really struggles with insomnia — had to say:
Allison: “I loved this one. It took me about 3-4 minutes to really settle before I’d move my other hand down. But once I did, it was all over for me! This was SOOOOOOO soothing for me! Emotionally and spiritually, this one just felt good. Definitely felt grounded and re-centered. I slept soundly after this one too–a whole lot less tossing and turning.”
Chris: “I loved that I could do this while lying in bed. At first, I did struggle with thoughts of ‘this feels silly’ and thinking about my day. Although my mind did get significantly quieter at the 7-8 minute mark, I never really felt settled enough to just go out like a light—unlike Alison who had zero problems there.”
It’s a good idea to do things on a regular basis that promote better sleeping, like working out, doing yoga, and meditating. Acacia TV can help you do all three. Sign up for a free 10-day trial to try out the exact type of workout and/or guided meditation you’re looking for.
And when you wake up, let me know if this technique helped ease you into dreamland.