- See a DoctorInsomnia can be a symptom of physical disorders, although for most of us it's the result of tension, stress and anxiety—and of course the more anxious we get about our insomnia, the worse it gets. If your doctor pronounces you a "healthy" insomniac, he might suggest some of the techniques provided here. Or she might prescribe drugs to help you get to sleep.
We suggest you try all these methods first, and use drugs only as a last resort. The decision, of course, is yours.
- Take a Warm Bath
- It's a great way to relax your body. Don't overdo it, however. You merely want to relax your body, not exhaust it. Too long in hot water and your body is drained of vitality.
Use bath salts, or throw in Epsom salts and baking soda—one cup of each. These will relax you and also help remove toxins from your body.
- Get a MassageHave your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great. If not, even a short backrub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.
- Listen to Music or Other Audio
- Play some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are many CDs designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat. Some will lead you to sleep with a combination of music, voice and other soothing sounds. We found one particular system that generates endless combinations of sounds tailored to your specifications.
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- Drink Warm MilkA glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax.
- Drink Herb TeaIf you don't like milk—or are avoiding dairy products—try a cup of hot camomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.
- Eat a Bedtime Snack
- Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco
- Sleep in a Well-Ventilated Room
- Sleep on a Good Firm Bed
- Sleep on Your Back
- Get Some Physical Exercise During the Day
- Keep Regular Bedtime Hours
- If You Can't Sleep, Get Up
- Don't Sleep In
- Get Up Earlier in the Morning
- Keep Your Bed a Place for Sleep
- Avoid Naps
- Avoid Illuminated Bedroom Clocks
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Insomnia techniques you've probably already tried but are still worth trying again.