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can't sleep! - Part 3
Tips for a Good Night's
A good night’s sleep can improve mood, enhance brain power, increase energy and help to maintain a healthy body.
If you suffer from insomnia, sleep aids can help, but they're not the only solution. You can make changes in your
behavior and environment that can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Try some of these tips:
Learn to relax
- Use guided
imagery and meditation to relax with pleasant, nonstimulating images.
lie in bed awake if you can't get to sleep. Read, watch television,
or listen to music, until you feel tired.
Create a sleep-friendly environment
- Your body is cued
to dusk. Dim the lights an hour or two before bedtime.
- Try using earplugs, a white noise machine or a humming fan
to block out disruptive sounds.
your bedside clock to face the wall.
your exposure to morning sunshine or very bright lights in the morning.
Sunlight helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself each
day and can help you to fall asleep at night.
in a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature (60-65 degrees
down just before bedtime with a relaxing pre-sleep ritual such as
a warm bath, soft music, a relaxation tape or reading.
Maintain healthy habits
- Eat a light bedtime snack
combining carbs with just a little protein, such as peanut butter on a piece of toast.
caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the four to six hours before bedtime.
Coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, "energy-boosters"
and some pain relievers contain caffeine. Alcohol prevents deep sleep; nicotine stimulates the brain.
a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same
time every day.
five or six hours prior to bedtime may help you sleep more soundly,
but don't exercise within two hours of bedtime
eat large meals within two hours of bedtime.
nap later than 3 p.m.
Talk to your doctor
medications, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, cause insomnia, so if you're taking them, discuss
your sleep problems with your doctor.
See a doctor if
your sleeping problems continue. Persistent insomnia and feeling tired
the next day could indicate a medical problem.
Part I: Why is sleep important? >>
Part II: Sleep aids and natural remedies >>
How to relax
Imagery to relax
Walking for wellness
Page updated January 1, 2011