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Insomnia: 12 ways to better sleep


This looks like a useful resource for people who're having trouble sleeping. It includes some educational hand-waving, tips on finding out why you aren't sleeping, plus cautions on the usual outboard sleep solutions (from the environmental to the pharmaceutical).

Here's their long-term, sustainable tips for developing better sleep hygiene:

  • Wind down prior to bedtime
  • Do not smoke (nicotine is a stimulant) or consume caffeine
  • Try warm milk or a light snack before bed (if this doesn't interfere with another treatment you are using)
  • Exercise daily, but not right before bedtime
  • Take a warm bath, but not right before bedtime
  • Keep a regular bedtime and rising time
  • Get in the habit of going to bed when you are sleepy and sleeping where you sleep best
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping only
  • Don't have any clocks visible to you
  • Reduce the amount of time you allow yourself to sleep until you fall asleep easily (your health care provider can help with this form of "sleep restriction therapy"
  • Schedule worry time during the day and put worries out of your head when it is time to sleep; you can write them down on 3x5 cards, and then let go of them
  • Get up if you have not fallen asleep in 15 minutes and practice a relaxing activity (e.g. handwork, reading a boring book) until you feel sleepy

Personally, I cast aside their hand-wringy warnings last night and treated myself to a cocktail of Melatonin and Valerian; slept like a lamb, I tells ya. Now on to cutting out tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, clock-watching, and worry. Yep. Need to get right on that.

What works for you? How do you beat insomnia?

TOPICS: Home Life, Links, Tips
Suzy's picture

I find deep breathing excercises...

I find deep breathing excercises for a couple of minutes before bed really helpful - about.com has some useful ones under anxiety disorders, I think.

Also, when I can't sleep, I try to turn it into a positive - I know I can cope a day or two with reduced sleep and it won't physically harm me, so I try to let go of worrying and enjoy a few hours where I can lie in a comfortable place and think about things I don't have time to in the day, like planning my memoirs or composing a poem. If I really need to sleep, I'll try to remember all the people in my primary school (grade school in the states I think) class - names, what they looked like, where they sat etc.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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