Friday, December 29, 2006

13 ways to better sleep

This looks like a useful resource for people who’re having trouble sleeping. It includes some educational hand-waving, tips on finding out why you aren’t sleeping, plus cautions on the usual outboard sleep solutions (from the environmental to the pharmaceutical).

  1. Here’s their long-term, sustainable tips for developing better sleep hygiene:
  2. Wind down prior to bedtime
  3. Do not smoke (nicotine is a stimulant) or consume caffeine
  4. Try warm milk or a light snack before bed (if this doesn’t interfere with another treatment you are using)
  5. Exercise daily, but not right before bedtime
  6. Take a warm bath, but not right before bedtime
  7. Keep a regular bedtime and rising time
  8. Get in the habit of going to bed when you are sleepy and sleeping where you sleep best
  9. Reserve your bed for sleeping only
  10. Don’t have any clocks visible to you
  11. Reduce the amount of time you allow yourself to sleep until you fall asleep easily (your health care provider can help with this form of “sleep restriction therapy”
  12. Schedule worry time during the day and put worries out of your head when it is time to sleep; you can write them down on 3×5 cards, and then let go of them
  13. Get up if you have not fallen asleep in 15 minutes and practice a relaxing activity (e.g. handwork, reading a boring book) until you feel sleepy

Personally, I cast aside their hand-wringy warnings last night and treated myself to a cocktail of Melatonin and Valerian; slept like a lamb, I tells ya. Now on to cutting out tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, clock-watching, and worry. Yep. Need to get right on that.

What works for you? How do you beat insomnia?


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