TopicSleep - Or the Lack of It!
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind Zz Snore your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. You can also use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. But especially use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly.
You can acquire mediation tapes or CD's from a bookstore, library or online. I have made use of a self-hypnotic/meditation tape on and off for almost 20 years. It uses a visual exercise and breathing exercise along with a physical exercise. The physical exercise consists of tightening and releasing areas of the body starting with the extremities and ends with the head and torso. Using all the exercises puts me to sleep at least 85% of the time and even before the tape ends.