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    Quick Relaxation Techniques Dos and Don’ts

    I have many clients who ask about ways to relax so I have compiled a list of some ways that work for most people when preparing for bedtime.

    Increase melatonin production by practicing a peaceful, quiet activity like reading a book. Do not watch TV, phone, or computers since the blue light emitted from them tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime and not nighttime, which reduces melatonin production and affects the awake sleep cycle.

    Raise serotonin levels by taking a warm bath to assist your body in preparation for rest. Dressing warm for bed also helps achieve this goal. Do not go for a brisk cold walk outside.

    If you awaken at night and have trouble getting back to sleep for more than 15 minutes, try reading a book with a book light that illuminates just enough for you to read. Do not look at any screens such as your phone.

    Try some relaxation techniques like stretching to relax muscle groups. Do not exercise.

    Increase the likelihood of relaxing your body by focusing on the relaxing of muscles groups one at a time starting with your feet (tense while you breath in and relax when you breath out) Do not focus on sleep. Your body will move toward sleep as it relaxes.

    Do use a technique to relax such as deep breathing, meditating on a peaceful concept, or visualizing something you find restful.

    Tell yourself you can be concerned about a specific item at 5 pm for an hour. Do not tell yourself this at 9 pm.

    Visualize something like a hot air balloon taking away your stress. Do not visualize trauma and action sequences at this time.

    Meditate on peaceful thoughts, successes, or scripture. Do not focus on negatives.

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