Breathing from the abdomen and putting your attention on those breaths can help you relax both during the day and in bed at night. Some people may enjoy lying in a dimly lit room, closing their eyes, or listening to soft music while focusing on their out breaths.
Some people imagine a calm scene to help them wind down at the end of the day. There are no rules about what you should imagine, so long as it's calming. Although clouds, the ocean, and mountains are common choices, you can focus on something as general or as specific as you want.
Focusing on different aspects of your life before bed can help you earn your rest, if you're able to let those thoughts go. "You need to look at one thing at a time, which slows things down," says Walsleben. "Focus on an issue in your life, then let it go. The major learning experience here is letting go."
While lying in bed, start by gazing upward. "A little eye strain relaxes you," says Dr. Doner. Take an abdominal breath and hold it, and on the out breath, let everything relax. Repeat one or two times. You might then try imagining yourself walking down a flight of stairs or a gentle hill while counting down from 10 or 20, each number signifying your movement to a lower step, exhaling with each imaginary step.