Interim NIOSH Training for Emergency Responders: Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours

Relaxation Techniques
a man and a woman practicing yoga, seated with their eyes shut

Normally, it takes about 15 to 25 minutes to fall asleep.

During deployment, if you have trouble falling asleep, try relaxation techniques.

Learn one or more of these techniques that you like best before deployment:

  • Relaxation breathing – by concentrating on your breathing, the rest of your body can relax itself
  • Imagery – the goal is to visualize yourself in a peaceful setting
  • Meditation – focus on something such as a sound, visualization, or the breath to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – follow recorded instructions that guide you to progressively tense and relax muscle groups one at a time from head to toe; this leads to total muscle relaxation

Practice helps; repeated use of the techniques will improve the relaxation effect over time.

Instructions for performing relaxation techniques can be found on the following sites; these include audio files that you can download and use during your deployment.

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Page last reviewed: April 1, 2020