A guide for those unable to sleep…

Sleep is as important to your physical health as it is to your mental health. When you sleep, you are not only recharging your body but your mind as well. When we tire, we lose our ability to work at full mental capacity. Anxiety and tension tend to run high when we’re lacking sleep, too. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t getting the sleep we need because we simply can’t sleep. Insomnia is incredibly common in our society because our brains are often unable to shut down at night. We are constantly thinking about the previous day or possibly the next day when we really should be resting.

Thegood news is, there are a number of ways to combat insomnia that don’t require sleeping medications or special nature sounds CDs. If you keep the following in mind at bed time, you’ll find yourself falling asleep quickly and staying asleep throughout the evening. If these techniques just aren’t working for you, you may need to see your doctor as it could be a sign of a sleep disorder.

Exercise in the Morning

Exercise can help us to sleep, but only if it is performed in the morning or early afternoon. If you exercise within a few hours of your regular bed time you body will still be hyped up on endorphins. You’ll find yourself sleeping much more restfully if you do your exercising in the mornings instead.

Thirty Minute Rule

A rule of thumb for those with insomnia is that if you aren’t able to fall asleep within thirty minutes, rather than continuing to lie there without sleeping you should get up and do something calm and relaxing. Reading a book or watching a calm television show are excellent examples. Try to do these tasks in low light, however; bright lights stimulate the body and mind.

Nighttime Snack

Even if you’re dieting, you should never go to bed hungry. Sleeping on an empty stomach will only keep you awake longer. Getting a light snack before bed will help you to sleep and you’ll feel more content. If you have problems falling asleep, try a snack such as warm milk or turkey. These items have in them an amino acid called tryptophan. This amino acid encourages the body to rest.

No Caffeine After Noon!

This might be a difficult one to stick to, but consuming caffeine after midday can also keep us awake at night. Caffeine is a strong stimulant and should be treated as such. If you can’t live without your mocha latte or cup of green tea, drink it in the morning or with lunch so the effects wear off by the time you’re ready to sleep.

Schedule Your Sleep

Sleeping at the same time every night develops a natural pattern for our bodies to follow. If you consistently sleep from 11:00 until 7:00 nightly, your body will always think of 11:00 as sleep time and 7:00 as wake up time. This way you’ll find falling asleep and waking up to be much easier.

Don’t Look at the Clock

When we look at the clock every five minutes as we toss and turn, we’re stressing about losing precious time to sleep. This will only keep you up longer. If you turn your clock away so you’re unable to see the time, you’ll no longer have that temptation there to sneak a peak. Avoiding the clock whenever possible during the night is the best course of action for anyone, whether they usually have problems sleeping or not.