Friday, 18 April 2014



Get Comfortable

Sleep may elude you if your bed is too hard or too soft, or if your pillows aren't just right. Sometimes, insomnia is can also be caused by being awakened repeatedly by loud noises. Often, the sleeper is not aware of what awakened them.

Try sleeping in a quieter room, or wear earplugs. The best sleep environment is one that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool, according to the National Sleep Foundation. You should also use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. No work, no eating, no television, and no arguing with your bed partner.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Although alcohol can make you feel drowsy and may actually put you to sleep, it has the unpleasant side effect of waking you up later on in the night with a headache, stomachache, or full bladder. In addition, once alcohol's sedative effect wears off, there's a rebound effect that actually makes you more likely to have trouble falling back to sleep.

Caffeine, on the other hand, stimulates your brain. Limit your coffee intake to two cups a day. Starting at noon, consume no foods or beverages that contain caffeine.

Keep a normal Schedule

Perhaps the most important rule for people with insomnia is to keep a strict sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends. If you can't sleep one night, get up at your usual time the next morning and don't take any naps. If you nap, you'll have more trouble getting to sleep the next night, thereby compounding your insomnia. It's best to let yourself get good and sleepy so that it will be easier to get to sleep the next night.

Establish a bedtime Ritual

When mothers bathe their children or read to them every night before bedtime, they are reinforcing a signal that it's time to settle down and get ready for sleep. Establishing such a ritual may also be helpful for adults. A hot bath taken two hours before bedtime is a wonderful way to relax your body and make it ready for sleep. For most people, taking a bath closer to bedtime may be stimulating and may delay sleep (of course, there are always exceptions, so experiment with the timing if you need to). For an added benefit, Naturopathic practitioners recommend adding one to two cups Epsom salts to a hot bath and soak for about 15 to 20 minutes before hitting the hay.

Try a little Sugar

You should finish eating two or three hours before bedtime. However, that comforting nighttime snack of milk and cookies may be just what the doctor ordered to get you back in bed. Sugary foods eaten about 30 minutes before bedtime can actually act as a sedative, and you can wake up without the morning fuzziness that accompanies synthetic sleeping pills.

Honey has the same sedative effect as sugar and may get you to bed more quickly. Try adding 1 tablespoon honey to some decaffeinated herbal tea or even to your warm milk for a relaxing pre-sleep drink.

Have a bedtime Snack

High carbohydrate, low-protein bedtime snacks can make sleeping easier. Carbohydrate-rich foods like toast tend to be easy on the tummy and can ease the brain into blissful slumber.

Drinking a glass of milk, especially a glass of warm milk, before bedtime is an age-old treatment for sleeping troubles.


Melatonin is the timekeeper of the body. It's a hormone that regulates your biological clock. As you get older you make less melatonin, which experts believe is probably why older folks have more trouble sleeping. Research is showing that taking a melatonin supplement can help you sleep. Ask your doctor about taking 1 to 3 mg of melatonin 11/2 to 2 hours before bedtime


Valerian is a staple medicinal herb used throughout the world. Using valerian to treat insomnia increases the amount of time spent in deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Valerian contains chemicals with strong muscle-relaxant and sedative properties called valepotriates. All parts of the plant contain these chemicals, but they are most concentrated in the roots. Ironically, even valerian preparations without valepotriates have helped some people to fall asleep, raising the possibility that some still unidentified chemical, or a reaction amongst various compounds in the root, may produce a calming effect.

Keep a sleep Journal

There is no one formula for perfect sleep -- different things work for different people. The important thing is to give everything a fair and persistent trial (for at least a week or two, not just one night) and see what works best for you. Keep a sleep log, a notebook of what works and what doesn't.

There's no magic trick to treating insomnia, but some of the home remedies outlined here might just be the recipe you need to get back to sleep.

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