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HOME::Self-Help / Self-Improvement

Top 7 Tips To Get A Good Nightís Sleep

By Raymond Lee

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Most people think insomnia means chronic sleeplessness that keeps you up all night. Actually, insomnia means any sleep problem. Occasional late-night wake-ups with trouble going back to sleep are not as trying as chronic insomnia, but they are still a threat to well-being. About 65 million American adults have trouble sleeping. For one-quarter of them, the problem is chronic and costly. Americans spend about $15 billion a year on sleeping pills and physician care for insomnia. When people do mention sleep problems to their doctors, two-thirds of physicians prescribe sleeping pills. Sleep medications can relieve occasional insomnia, and sleeping pills are not the best way to go. Natural approaches work better over the long haul. Here are some tips to consider your better, more restful sleeps.

  1. Get Regular

    Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Many people need regular sleep/wake cycles and find their sleep seriously disturbed if they donít stick to them. Sleep/wake regularity is especially helpful for what is known as Sunday night insomnia Ė a surprisingly common inability to fall asleep as the work week is about to begin. Most people assume they are simply anxious about returning to work on Monday. In fact, Sunday night insomnia typically strikes those who stay up unusually late on Friday and Saturday nights and get up late Saturday and Sunday mornings. By Sunday night, they set their internal clock to a later hour and in a phenomenon similar to jet lag, they canít fall asleep Sunday night until way past their weekday bedtime. Retiring and rising earlier on weekends usually resolves the problem.

  2. Pamper Yourself

    You spend one-third of your life in bed. Invest in that time and you will probably sleep better. Get comfortable pillows and sheets. Test different types of mattresses. If you have arthritis or a bad back, try extra pillows or specially shaped therapeutic pillows. If heartburn is a problem, elevate the head of your bed a few inches.

  3. Reduce Stimulant Comsumption

    Caffeine and other stimulants cause more sleep problems than most people realize. Many insomnias are exceptionally sensitive to caffeine and have trouble sleeping after one cup of tea or a chocolate bar in the afternoon. Caffeine is an ingredient in many drugs and soft drinks in addition to coffee, tea, and chocolate. Drugs may also contain non-caffeine stimulants. Ask your physician or pharmacist about the possible stimulant effects of every medication you take.

  4. Adopt Bedtime Rituals

    Bedtime rituals are a way to wind down and mark the boundary between waking and sleeping. Most people change into pajamas and brush their teeth. If you have trouble sleeping, add a few more rituals to your transition period: Take a hot bath, drink a cup of herb tea or do some light reading. But steer clear of the late TV news. It is usually filled with disturbing images that might keep you awake.

  5. Limit Alcohol

    Many doctors used to advise people who could not sleep to drink a cocktail or glass of wine before bedtime. But many people find that drinking within a few hours of retiring keeps them from sleeping and in nearly everyone, drinking late in the evening produces troubled, fragmented sleep.

  6. Try Deep Relaxation

    In addition to their ritual value, relaxation techniques also help minimizes the stress that contributes to sleep problems. Aromatherapy, biofeedback, deep breathing exercise, listening to music, massage, meditation, and yoga can all help in overcoming insomnia. Just donít do any kind of strenuous exercise within a few hours of bedtime. It has a short-term stimulant effect.

  7. Get Out Of Bed

    This sounds ridiculous, but many people with insomnia believe that the longer they stay in bed, the more they will sleep. Not so. If a person who needs seven hours a night stays in bed for nine, the seven hours get spread thinly over the nine and sleep becomes more troubled and less restful.

Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit for more information.


Article Submitted On: January 26, 2008