8 Relaxation Tips

In today's world, it's often difficult to just unwind and relax, clearing your mind of all the "should do's" and "must do's" before you can call it quits for the night. Then when you try to sleep, the sleep just won't come.

Almost 70% of Americans say they have sleep problems. Of that group, about half suffer from insomnia.

I'm in that half. Sometimes sleep just won't come. I find myself exhorting myself to just relax and fall asleep. Relax, right? Often just telling myself to relax gets me humming the eighties song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Then I'm wide awake.

(By the way, the song Relax should be very familiar to you. It's been used in the films Body Double, Police Academy, Gotcha!, Zoolander, The Proposal, and probably others that I can't recall. It was also featured in several TV series episodes, video games, and TV commercials.)

8 Relaxation Recommendations

Everybody tells you to relax, but hardly anyone tells you how to relax--without benefit of pharmaceuticals. Most advice is as follows:

1. Have a light bedtime snack such as graham crackers spread with cottage cheese. This works because cottage cheese is high in protein, and the carb-rich whole grain crackers boost tryptophan. A small glass of milk will probably work also, but it's protein isn't 100% casein as in cottage cheese. Plus milk has more carbs.

Another good snack is banana and low-fat milk. You can blend it in a smoothie if you want. My mom always loved her glass of warm milk with a teaspoon of honey.

2. Drink something soothing like a cup of green tea or ginger tea. Add a couple of dates to boost the effect.

3. Have a cup of fresh cherries, one of the only natural sources of melatonin.

4. Munch a handful of walnuts. They're a good source of tryptophan, that wonderful sleep-enhancing amino acid which makes the most of your serotonin and melatonin. Also, walnuts contain their own source of melatonin.

5. Give yourself a foot massage. Your feet support your entire body weight all day long. Do they ever hurt at the end of the day? You can get instant relaxation by massaging your feet. Roll your feet over a golf ball. Then massage the toes and the instep. Then repeat with the golf ball.

6. Brush your hair. Even if it's short, brush with a natural bristle brush. This can give allover relaxation.

7. Practice deep breathing like yoga relaxation breathing. There are many YouTube videos like this one that show how to do this.

8. Start a journal. Dump all your worries, anxieties, and misery into it. Then end your entry with some gratitudes--those things that bless you and your life. This switches the focus to the positive and should ensure a feeling of peace and tranquility.

Takeaway Truth

Just check the Internet for other relaxation tips.

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