I’m asked from time to time if I know how to sleep on my back the whole night through. For it is true that you can prevent some wrinkling of the face and chest by learning to sleep on your back. First of all, it's NOT easy to learn how to manage this as you may already have discovered from trying.... but I managed to do it and my husband tells me I don't move much all night at all. Those pesky sleep wrinkles are no longer an issue and I also think I have a better quality of sleep, for when I wake-up I always feel very refreshed. In fact, I always have a very good night’s sleep now and always have since learning to sleep on my back. Nice unexpected result!
Note: Sometimes I’m asked what is the biggest beauty secret I know?! Certainly, we talk about water and diet and these are important. However, when I was modeling my photographer always knew when I didn't get enough sleep or if I went to bed after midnight. It would always show. Getting enough sleep, going to bed before midnight and sleeping soundly will show on your face and neck with less lines, refreshed-looking skin and a more relaxed overall look!
How I managed to sleep on my back
Tensing and relaxing
I lie on my back with one pillow, naturally under my head, and another one under my knees. When I close my eyes, I start at the top of my head and I tense my face muscles and then totally relax - I literally let go of the tensed muscles. I then tense my shoulders and arms and then relax and continuing to tense my muscles and relax, I work my way down to my feet. You can also start with the feet and work your way up as some people do and that may be a better way for you.
Update: One of my clients puts pillows under each arm (up to the shoulder) and this she says, is very comfortable.
Watching my breath
If I haven't fallen asleep with all the tensing and relaxing of the muscles, then I literally watch my breath. I LOVE to do this so much that now, instead of tensing and relaxing, I only watch my breath when I first lie down to sleep. The way I've found works best for me, is to simply watch my breath as it goes in and then out. I've found there's this little "gap" between the breaths. As I watch the breath go out, there's another little "gap" and then I watch my breath go in and there’s another gap between the breaths and so on. Somehow those little gaps are very restful.
Whenever I see I've wandered away from watching my breath, I just go back to watching it. This so relaxes me and I like it so much somehow ... some way, at some point I always fall asleep and I manage to stay on my back all night long. It took me about 2 weeks to stay fully on my back. If I woke up in the night and saw I'd turned to my side, I'd fix the pillow under my knees and turn over on my back and start watching my breath again. Before I’d know it … it was morning and I’d wake up still lying on my back. Now, I'm addicted to watching my breath. I adore falling to sleep this way. I'm not sure why this works so well, but it does for me and for many of my clients who are now doing this, too. So, that's how I do it and I really have a very good night’s sleep and those pesky lines are gone. YES!
Alternate Nostril Breathing (optional)
If you have the time and the inclination, here’s another wonderful breath technique that you can do sitting up just before you retire for the night. It’s optional but very relaxing and seems to balance everything in a way that helps me sleep even better. Meaning, I am more apt to stay on my back!
- Sit-up straight or in a cross-legged posture.
- Gently close your eyes.
- Right thumb rests lightly against the right nostril.
- Index and middle fingertips are together on the forehead.
- Ring and little fingertips rest lightly against the left nostril.
- Exhale slowly and deeply through both of the nostrils.
- Press the right nostril closed.
- Slowly and quietly inhale a deep breath through the left nostril to a count of 8.
- Keep the right nostril closed.
- Now, press the left nostril closed with the ring fingertip.
- Hold air in the lungs for a rhythmic count of 8.
- Open the right nostril only.
- Exhale deeply through the right nostril in a rhythmic count of 8.
Without pause, inhale through the right nostril to a rhythmic count of 8.
- Press the right nostril closed.
- Hold air in the lungs for rhythmic count of 8.
- Open the left nostril only.
- Exhale deeply through the left nostril counting to 8.
Without pause, inhale through the left nostril for a count of 8. You have now completed one round.
One round looks like this:
- Inhale though the left nostril (for 8)
- Retain air (both nostrils closed for 8)
- Exhale through the right nostril (for 8)
- Inhale through the right nostril (for 8)
- Retain air (both nostrils are closed for 8)
- Exhale through the left nostril (for 8)
Perform 5 rounds. Relax for a few moments when completed.