Nearly every animal must sleep. People should sleep 7 – 8 hours nightly. If you are having trouble getting even 3 or 4 hours of sleep, you probably have insomnia, or inability to sleep. If you face this issue, it’s no small matter. Follow these guidelines to enjoy a restful night.
About three hours before bedtime, avoid all stimulants, such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and certain medications. Caffeine effects can last for up to six hours, and alcohol, while sedating at first, can cause frequent wakefulness. Certain medications, such as for asthma, are stimulants as well. Check with your doctor to see if you can substitute, or make a different schedule.
If you can’t sleep because you are worried about something in particular, get up and write it down. Sometimes putting your thoughts on paper will help ease your anxiety. You could also try to busy yourself with small but productive tasks that need to be done around the house. Go back to bed as soon as you begin to feel sleepy.
Be more proactive about the stress in your life, if you suffer with chronic insomnia. Stress is a leading cause of insomnia, so start eliminating the sources whenever possible, and do things for yourself that alleviate stress. Meditation or yoga can help, as can other forms of regular exercise. The less you stress, the more you sleep.
For some, eating a small snack before bed can help them rest. Choose a food with both protein and carbohydrates. For example, both cookies and juice are options that would work. Consume the snack at least 45 minutes prior to laying down to bed and see if you are able to drift off sooner or easier than before.
Stay away from anything that has caffeine in it. For example, you would not want to consume coffee or sugary soda just before going to bed. In addition, although herbal tea is recommended for sleep, black tea is not. If you get the two confused, you may find it even more difficult to fall asleep than before.
Taking Melatonin may help you get you back to sleep. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is available in a supplement form. This hormone helps regulate the human sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm), causes drowsiness and lowers body temperature. Man-made Melatonin supplements are available at many health food and drug stores.
Warm milk works great unless you’re lactose intolerant. Use a cup of herbal tea as an alternative. It is full of soothing, natural ingredients. To find the best tea for you, check out health food stores to find a tea that will fulfill your needs.
Drink copious amounts of vitamin D during the day to help with your sleep. This vitamin will help your muscles relax and strengthen your bones during the night. This will also reduce the tension that is caused by lack of nutrition, which will make you feel more comfortable as the night wears on.
Remember, not every tip works for every person. Try each one in turn and you are sure to find at least one that works for you. Keep the faith, and know that insomnia is just a temporary state for you. You will beat it over time, no matter what.