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3 Simple Steps to Help You Relax Before Going to Sleep

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~ Chinese Proverb.

In our stressful 24/7 modern world, it may seem surprising that relaxation is our true nature. Yet we allow stressors to control our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Turning the thinking mind off is one of the first challenges to being able to drift off into restful sleep. Thoughts may begin to ruminate, thus causing emotions to flare.

Relaxation, mindfulness and meditation are powerful and proven ways to help restore your resilience and well-being—and help you sleep better. These ancient practices are being used today as complimentary to traditional medical, even in the military.

Here are three simple steps to help you relax your mind through your body before going to sleep:

  1. Take a few deep belly breaths with long exhalations to help you feel into the present moment.
  2. Recall a real or imagined place where you feel safe, grounded and at ease—and allow yourself to feel these qualities in your body.
  3. Begin to bring your attention into your feet and toes, attending to each toe separately. Continue slowly moving your attention to each part of the body.

Restful Sleep with iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation

Do you have difficulties falling asleep at bedtime, find yourself awake in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep, or experience restless sleep? Then, this course is for you. iRest® Yoga Nidra is a form of guided mindfulness meditation. It is a systematic process for progressively leading the body and mind into deep relaxation. It has been widely used to help with sleep, and can be adapted to each person’s unique sleep challenges.

Imagine having your own personal sleep therapist in your bedroom guiding you into deep relaxation and deep sleep while you rest in the comfort of your own bed. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic Harper is now offering this livestream opportunity to be experienced in the safety of your own home. This class conveniently meets later in the evening to support your sleep process.

iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation for Restful Sleep (LIO 0020)

Online, Mondays, 2/1-3/8, 9:00-10:00 p.m.

In iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation for Restful Sleep you’ll not only learn how to sleep better, but also find yourself integrating mindfulness and restorative practices into your life. iRest, short for Integrative Restoration, is an adaptation of the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra. It is a proven approach to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, chronic illnesses and so much more. It helps build inner strength and resilience to better meet life from a place of joy and inner peace.

We begin with gentle somatic movement and breathing that can even be done in bed.  Then we will enter a deep guided iRest Yoga Nidra, designed to help you drift into deep sleep.  If you go to bed later, you can join in for the beginning. Later when you are ready to sleep, you can listen to the recordings provided with each session. These practices can be used throughout the week. We will also include other ideas that you can incorporate into your sleep hygiene routine.


I found your [sleep] recordings most beneficial. They help me fall asleep and also when l wake up in the middle of the night. I also enjoyed the exercises before we start our sleep sessions.. –Winnie

I enjoyed the course. It reinforced some ideas that I had already been told/learned for good sleep habits (many from my mother!). It was helpful to have regular review of how I prepare for sleep; thoughtful suggestions. Having a ‘mantra’ helps me get back to sleep when I wake up with a hot flash. I to use the recordings on a regular basis. — Marguerite

I enjoyed the informative guidance on the importance of sleep, its’ relationship to health and well-being, and proper sleep hygiene. I also enjoyed the somatic movements to help relax and quiet the body and mind, followed by the iRest yoga nidra meditations for sleep. I fell asleep easily and if I woke up, I just repeated my intention a few times and quickly fell asleep again! As a result of the class, my sleep greatly improved! I would recommend this class to anyone who is experiencing sleep difficulties. –Eileen, H.

I now experience more frequent moments of inner calm throughout the day. As a chronic insomniac I also have techniques to help me sleep better. – Kathy

When I can’t sleep at night, I remember the techniques we do in iRest Yoga Nidra. It is the only thing I’ve found that really works. When I wake up, I feel rested instead of constantly groggy.  —Enduring Freedom Veteran


Guest Post by Jacqui Neurauter, C-iRest, Harper College CE Instructor. Neurauter is certified in iRest® Yoga Nidra through Richard Miller, PhD, and the Integrative Restoration Institute. She is Certified in Clinical Somatic Education and a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute. She loves helping individuals successfully address and heal a wide-range of issues related to stress and trauma, including anxiety, insomnia, inter-personal conflict, physical ailments, and depression. She has been a CE instructor with Harper College since 1997 and writes the Living in Sync column for Yoga Chicago, as well as her own blog. Jacqui is also co-founder and president of the Veterans Restorative Project, a not-for-profit organization offering iRest meditation programs to veterans, their families and caregivers.

Register online.

Visit our Mindfulness and Holistic Living page for details about this and other courses. Or, view all our courses online at ce.harpercollege.edu or in our Spring 2021 CE Course Schedule 

1 Comment

  1. […] Quality Sleep: Check out our post on 3 Simple Steps to Help You Relax Before Sleep. Visit our Mindfulness and Holistic page to learn about our wellness […]

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