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Simple Relaxation Techniques to Help You Sleep

Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Simple relaxation techniques are among the best sleep aid options. When baby sleeps, sleeping well yourself is the best cure.  Relaxing Sea View with Fishing Boats

Unfortunately, disrupted nights, worrying and life's demands may keep you awake, even if you are very tired. But insomnia is the last thing you need right now. 

If you manage to be well rested, you will feel better and have more energy: quite useful with baby around ... :)

The simple relaxation techniques below are easy to do: they require no tools and no experience nor any spiritual inclination.

Try them in bed to help you fall asleep or throughout the day when you have a quiet moment.


Breathing in itself is a wonderful relaxation technique. Conscious breathing keeps your mind< focused on healthy breathing, leaving your body relaxed.

Healthy breathing includes expanding both belly and chest. Many of us are used to breathing mainly through the chest. Using the belly too improves oxygen supply and helps your body relax overall.

» Conscious Breathing Lie down comfortably and notice how you are breathing. When inhaling, lift both your belly and your chest. Make your exhaling long, blowing all the air out.
Take deep in-breaths too, gently lifting belly and chest. Check your muscles from time to time: especially shoulder and neck muscles tend to tighten up when you start focusing on breathing. Release them by letting them sink down.

» Counted Breathing If your attention easily drifts off, a great help is to count your breaths. Do the conscious breathing as above, but count each in- and exhalation: inhale-one, exhale-two, inhale-three, ... Make your numbers slow and looong to match your deep breaths.

Start over from 1 when you reach 10. If you drift off again, simply return to counting, starting at 1.