Here is a brief visualization called The Body Scan which can help release tension and quiet the mind.
- Lie on your back and make sure you are comfortable. Adjust your pillows and covers until you are totally comfortable.
- Close your eyes.
- Take some deep breaths and release stress as you exhale.
- Focus your attention on your toes and, without moving, visualize them melting into the mattress.
- Do the same with your insteps, heels, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, butt, spine (each vertebra individually), move upwards through each discreet muscle and body part.
- At each step/exhale tell yourself the story: I am relaxing my toes, neck, shoulders, arms, etc., my toes are melting into the mattress, my body is releasing tension, I am ready for sleep.
- By the time you reach your head you may be drowsy and dropping-off.
If your sleep is disturbed for many nights you may be experiencing insomnia which is habitual sleeplessness, wakefulness, restlessness. Prolonged insomnia can have serious psychological and health problems. If this is the case, consult a physician.
Researchers at Harvard have developed a list of 12 tips to promote better sleep. Look them over.