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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
Drew's picture

Great list, I had already...

Great list, I had already found many of these ideas on my own. Now that I have my stress level down, I fall asleep easily, but my main problem is setting a regular schedule. I have to get up early during the week, and my body clock seems to have days that are about 25 hours, so I tend to want to go to bed an hour later every night. I end up catching up on my sleep on the weekend, and then my schedule is shot (for example, Friday night I went to bed around 1 am, and slept until about 6 pm Saturday evening, went to bed around 8 am this morning, had to set the alarm for noon so I didn't sleep all day again. I think I must be having some sleep apnia because 17 hours is very unusual.)

The only time that I have ever woken up on a consistent basis before the alarm clock went off is when I changed jobs and had a much earlier start time (from 8:30 to 6:30 am). I was so nervous about maintaining this schedule I set my alarm clock on the weekends for the same time I would get up at work. After about two weeks of this, and some sleep deprivation, my schedule adjusted to it, and I went to sleep when I should, woke up when I should, and got great sleep. It did put a crimp on my social life, my girlfriend and I would fight because I couldn't go out late on the weekends, but it was amazingly effective. I plan to start doing this again.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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