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Meditation has been shown to be an effective way to wind down and get to sleep—something that’s especially useful after a harried day of work. Mindfulness techniques have been shown to improve sleep quality, fatigue and insomnia in people who have trouble sleeping—possibly by helping them relax more and let go of stress.

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A body-scan meditation, demonstrated at the link below, provides a way to help you tune in to the tiny tingles, throbs and thrums that you often don’t even notice. It can last anywhere from one to 20 minutes, and it’s easy to do while lying in bed—a perfect precursor to sleep. Here’s how to do it: lie down or sit still in a chair with your eyes closed, and begin to take inventory of the sensations in each part of your body, starting at your toes and traveling up from there.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a leader of modern mindfulness research and professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, says it’s a good way for people to release tension they don’t even realize they’re experiencing.

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