By Sean Harbison
You toss, you turn, but you just can’t get to sleep. Below are several sleep aids and tips to reduce insomnia and help you sleep better. Try to get in touch with your biorhythms by resetting your internal alarms. Get up at the same time in the morning by setting the alarm clock (and don’t hit the snooze button!), and go to bed at night at the same time. Your body clock will adjust itself to the new schedule after a while, which should alleviate the insomnia.
One great insomnia tip is to make your bedroom a quiet sanctuary that creates a tranquil atmosphere. How can you expect to sleep if you have loud music blaring, overhead lights glaring or family members wandering in staring and asking questions? Use your bedroom only for sleeping purposes and soon your mind will begin to understand the relation between bed and sleep. Don’t make it a practice to watch T.V. or read in bed. Also, try installing dark shades in the room. There are many window covering treatments that will help you darken the room so that light is not an issue when you want to sleep. The bedroom should be a place of peaceful solitude, not an entertainment center.
Rub your neck and shoulders with scented essential oils such as jasmine, patchouli or sandalwood. Just a little will do the job and the fragrant oil is a top sleeping aid as it lulls your mind into a blissful, relaxed state.
Keep active during the day and don’t take those “cat naps” in between work hours. Periodic, intermittent naps are not that restful and they are a top cause of sleeping problems. Many parents encourage their tots to play hard during the day, if they want them to sleep good that night. The same works for adults, too. The busier and more active you are during the day, the more tired you will be at night, increasing your chances of a good night’s sleep without any additional sleeping aid being needed.
Eliminate cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, sodas and other stimulants if insomnia is a worry. You should avoid these products all during the day, but many people with sleeping problems find that they no longer need any extra assistance once they break the caffeine and stimulant habit.
For insomnia concerns a warm, non-caffeinated drink about 30-60 minutes before bedtime will be a wonderful and effective sleeping aid. You can try milk, green tea or another herbal beverage of your choice to cure your insomnia. The warmth of the beverage is a key factor and you need to drink it slowly to maximize the calming effect.
Many people like to try meditating just before bedtime to help them fall asleep This is another safe, effective and very natural sleep inducing technique that can be used as often as needed.
A gentle noise in the background can be just the soothing help that you need. You can find many electronic devices that provide sounds that are known as “white noise” which are powerful enough to distract your mind and let you beat your insomnia problem. The sounds could be those of the ocean, the rainforest or just the soothing sounds of an outdoor rain shower.
Bathing in comfortably warm, not hot, water can also be helpful in getting your mind and body ready for sleep. The warm water will relax your body and lull your mind into a tranquil state. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable so that warm temperatures are not responsible for making you unable to get to sleep. Some people find that a fan or an open window is just the key step they need to battle insomnia.
Reading for about 30-45 minutes just before bedtime can be a great way to beat insomnia issues. When you are reading make sure that you are in a room other than your bedroom though, or you will just be defeating the relaxing purpose of this activity.
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