by Jake Murray
These techniques were specifically designed by the leading wellness experts to help you, you sleepless cretin.
MEDITATIVE BREATHING METHOD
Step 1: To prepare, place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, behind your two front teeth. Make sure your teeth are brushed and your breath smells of minty freshness. If you haven’t brushed your teeth yet, ew. You have no business trying to fall asleep. You are garbage.
Step 2: Let your lips part slightly, but not too much. If you do it too much, a spider could crawl inside. Remember in elementary school how there was always that one kid saying people swallow seven spiders a year in their sleep? Yeah, well, apparently that’s just a myth, but do you really want to risk it?
Step 3: Inhale for four (4) seconds, then hold your breath for six (6) seconds. I don’t know why I’m putting the numerical value in parenthesis after writing the number, I just think it looks nice. Now, as you hold your breath, try to empty your mind. Don’t think about anything. Definitely don’t think about your money troubles, which are immense and urgent. Don’t think about your relationship and what a performative sham it is. Don’t think about your life, and how it has regressed into a sad pathetic shell of all your former dreams and aspirations. Don’t think about that – because it’s all probably true. You probably are bad with money. I mean, who else decides to lease a car that already has 95,000 miles on it? At 400 bucks a month? Get outta here. That’s on you.
Step 4: Exhale for nine (9) seconds.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION METHOD
The basis of this technique is to build tension throughout your body and then release it, which promotes tranquility and helps you unwind.
Step 1: The first thing is to be still. Don’t even get up to make sure you locked the door. You should’ve checked the locks before you got into bed. Now it’s too late. Try being a responsible adult next time. I have no sympathy for you.
Step 2: Squint with your eyes shut. Lift your head an inch off the pillow. Clench your fists and teeth. This will create tension in your neck and face and arms. Hold for 5 seconds. Then gently rest your head and stop squinting. Open your fists and wiggle your fingers. Your muscles will feel relaxed. Focus on that feeling instead of how stupid you looked just now.
Step 3: Go through each muscle, one by one, and let it sink comfortably into the bed. Start with the crown of your skull and go to the tips of your toes. If the crown of your skull doesn’t feel relaxed, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s very odd. Okay, let’s get started. Imagine you’re floating on a cloud. Feel your neck loosen now. That’s good. Now relax your shoulders, triceps, fingers. Now move to your chest and sternum. That’s it, you’re floating. Eyes closed. Good. Now relax each individual thoracic vertebra. There. Perfect. Now relax the small bump of cartilaginous matter near the base of your ribcage’s posterior intercostal surface. Mmmmmmm. You feel that? Hell yeah. You should be falling asleep shortly. Unless you start calculating the odds of someone using your unlocked door to sneak into your house and kill you.
Imagining fantastical imagery is a great way to distract your mind from conscious thought, thereby lulling it to sleep.
Researchers agree: the more implausible the visualization, the better. Picture Sasquatch competing in Wimbledon. Or maybe imagine yourself floating in the Indian Ocean, drinking a pint of Guinness, and Meg Ryan swims up to you and gives you power of attorney. Another popular image is a sea horse, wearing the Pope’s clothes, using a copy machine. I personally like to visualize a conga-line of floating soufflés dancing through the abandoned ruins of Machu Picchu. Side note: if you’re seeing the United States government helping its citizens, then you know you’re dreaming.