How to Induce Sleep Naturally

This article describes basic techniques for inducing sleep naturally—without relying on external objects. You will create a relaxed environment in your body to improve the circulation of blood, nutrients and oxygen in your body.

When we sleep there is a possibility that some of our muscles tighten, it can happen due to stress or wrong sleeping posture. Tight muscles put pressure on the nerve pathways of the circulatory system. This condition prevents nutrients, oxygen and other chemical elements from circulating your body perfectly, and then interferes with the homeostatic process that takes place while you sleep.

Sleeping with a liberated circulatory system will make you refreshed when you wake up. In contrast, if you sleep with your circulatory system moving weakly, even though you sleep for hours—you will wake up feeling tired, you may find your head like getting a brain fog,… or you may get discomfort in a certain part of your body.

The procedures:

Below I propose two types of procedures that you can practice depending on the level of sleep problems you have at any given moment.

In the first procedure, you create a relaxed environment inside your body and find out which of your muscles are giving you problems. They are the muscles that contribute to making it hard for you to sleep. I call it Stress Responsive Muscles. These are your muscles that respond whenever you are stressed, and they follow when you go to sleep.(1)

The second procedure is a flexible practice, you can do it every day as it will work in just one or two short steps, and you can do it without using much attention. It is also suitable for those who wake up in the middle of their sleep. I mean, if you want to extend the disturbed sleep, then you can do the second procedure.

I. First procedure — On-Bed Sleep-Inducing Procedure

Here are the steps you need to take when you start sleeping:

1. Start your sleep by lying in a supine position on your bed, spread your legs shoulder width apart. Place each of your hands on the mattress, 5 inches next to your waist.

The important position is in your hands: set your palms facing the ceiling. This position means, you place the opposite side of your palm on the mattress and align with it, not tilted.

Feel your palms and wrists, this is the trigger to relax your arms. Pay attention, you will feel a subtle tickling in your palm, and afterwards you will notice a little warmth there

The palm position utilizes the force of gravity to relax tense muscles in your palms, forearms, upper arms and shoulders. This position then like a chain reaction would facilitate the relaxation of muscles in other parts of your body.

The first time doing this position may make your upper arms shake a little, it’s the tense muscles in your shoulders and upper arms that loosens inch by inch. Once fully relaxed the shaking will stop, then you will get the comfort.

2. The second step is about calming your breathing and reducing your heart work.

Smell the aroma of the air entering your nasal cavity, do not count the air going in and out of your nose. The key is to sense the freshness of the air in your nasal cavity. This technique differs from maintaining attention on the spot in the middle of the nostrils, which serves a different purpose.

Alternately you can turn your attention to your palms for a moment, to make sure your palms and fingers remain relaxed.

The act of feeling the freshness of the air in your nasal cavity would promote your brain to release relaxing hormones. Let this sensing happen like when you enjoying the perfume you love (but this is not imagining). If you do it correctly then the calming process would continue automatically, your breathing would be relaxed and steady on its own, your heart would also gradually reduce its hard work.

In this relaxation process, some of you may experience a mild jerk in your body (I call it a Mild Zap). It is the response of some nerves in your body being liberated, after the smooth muscles pressing on them relax. This state releases signals that have been held for a while—which then causes a cluster of signals to rush as they enter the open channel. Generally, this happens when you have not fallen asleep, and it gives an indication that there is a relaxation of tension in the area of the incident.

If you start sleeping with shortness of breath, do this: take a deep breath and then exhale with a quick burst. Repeat this process three times before you begin the second step above.

If you can feel the freshness in your nasal cavity when you inhale, then your body and mind would get the same feeling, as if they are absorbing more oxygen.

Consider not listening to music while you sleep, as this would create a new dependence in your subconscious as a condition for sleeping. If you want to relax your mind with music, you can do it before your bedtime.

3. As your breathing rhythm slows down do the following. Scan your body from head to toe—to find tense muscles. If you are under stress, it is very likely that you’ll find noticeable tension in the facial muscles between your eyebrows, the muscles under your eyes and lips, the jaw muscles, then the muscles in your neck, shoulders, muscles in the solar plexus, your arms and legs.

Loosen the muscles that you find tightening. Do not rush when doing the scan, and when you loosen the tense muscles you find. This process gives you a different comfort.

After you do steps 1-3 above, you would feel the cluster of energy, such as signals in your nerves, oxygen, blood and other liquid elements flowing smoothly in your body.

Have you ever felt the sensation of the unimpeded circulation of energy in your body? You would feel lightness in your body, there is a sensation like a gentle static electricity, it is slightly warm and moves slowly under your flesh. You would feel slightly brighter in your mind.

Enjoy the comfort you experience at that time for about 10-30 minutes, this moment stimulates sleepiness and has the potential to make you fall asleep. However, do not linger too long because your concentrated mind on the comforts will delay you from falling asleep.

If you have not fallen asleep and feel hot on your back, then you can change your sleeping position by slightly tilting your body (use a small pillow to prop one side of your pelvis, and use a bolster to support the leg underneath), but keep one of your palms facing the ceiling. This new position would create a second round of sleepiness. Proceed to step 5 and I expect you can fall asleep with this change.

4. This fourth step is an additional step, this would help you when you get depressed (a state that is stronger than ordinary stress). The key is in your eyeball muscles and their supporting muscles, you probably have not heard of this.

When you have been under intense stress for some time, accompanied by feelings of anger or anxiety, then you may find your eyeball muscles tighten. You can tell this type of stress by the signs of tiredness in your eyes and the muscles around them. At that time you feel sleepy but the discomfort in the eye area keeps you from falling asleep. There is a way to deal with it, here is how you do it (or you can try this way) :

Do steps 1-3 above, once you are done with relaxing your body muscles then you focus on your eyeballs. Feel them, take your time until you can feel the tension there.

The way to relax the eyeballs is using a little imagination:

Imagine your eyeball like a cue ball placed on a cloth that is pulled tight, when the pull is loosened then the ball would be lower than its previous position. Now imagine the support of your eyeballs sagging at a snail’s pace. Observe the process, you will actually feel your eyeball muscles slacken, and then gradually your eyeballs move into your head.

Your effort at that point is not due to you contracting the muscles around your eyes, but from the loosening and the contribution of gravity. Note: Only if you are experiencing eye muscle strain would you feel a noticeable loosening process.

The loosening response of the eye muscles usually occurs shortly after you “trigger” it. As soon as you feel your eye muscles relax, proceed to step 5.

5. Once your body relaxes—gradually release your attention from the comfort you sense in your body. Cut off all your wandering thoughts you have at that moment.

6. This is the final step as the closing of the Sleep-Inducing Process: While not thinking, again… feel the freshness in your nose as you breathe calmly, and gradually afterwards get a good night’s sleep.

II - Second procedure — The Less Rules

This is a lighter version of the first procedure, with a more flexible position. You can do this way to start a night’s sleep, or when you want to continue sleeping after waking up in the middle of the night.

This is what you do on the bed:

■  Lie on your bed in a position that relaxes you, either you sleep on your back or side. My only recommendation is to feel your palms and wrists, wherever your palms are facing. Choose one of your palms to be your attention control. Feeling the palms and wrists is to initiate the relaxation of tense muscles, but at the same time acts as attention control.

In the absence of medical conditions, the cause of sleeping difficulty from mental factors is a challenging thing to tame, and this requires persistence and repetition. One way to stop a wandering mind is to use attention control. Attention control is a means used to divert a wandering mind to a mind focused on a particular object.

The process of stimulating sleep naturally in this topic uses a combination of sensing the aroma of the air in the nasal cavity and feeling the palms and wrists. This combination will reinforce each other in creating a relaxed state. You do this method by alternating the two controls.

Now about your hand position. One example of a relaxed posture is to prop up one of your pelvis with a small pillow, and use a bolster to support the leg underneath, this will make your body tilt slightly to the opposite position. Then, place your palm from the opposite side of your body that is propped up—facing the ceiling, or whichever side relaxes it. You can place the other hand on the supporting pillow or onto your propped up body.

There are a lot of nerves in the hand, and they—the median nerve, the ulnar nerve, the radial nerve are connected to the central nervous system. So let’s emphasize: The nerves in the hand contribute to creating relaxation, the more you relax the better your chance of getting sleep. Therefore I share my experience with you that: a supporting pillow is useful to prevent your hand from being pressed by your body when sleeping on your side.

You can however, create your own sleeping positions, but be mindful, arrange sleeping positions that do not put pressure on your hands, so that your nerves do not get poked. Have a good night’s sleep tonight, the next day and the following days.

Hope you are all healthy and free from sleep problems, see you again in the next article.

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Article by

Grant Sheafler

Author, practitioner of Tradskill, founder of XsisCode. 

I’ve benefited from my practice, it’s time for you to unlock the amazing things your body can do, and reap the yield of the tasks I’ve systematized.

1. Sheafler, G. (2021). Tradskill: The Core.