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?