Sleep can be elusive for me sometimes. It is especially disheartening knowing that in approximately seven months my sleep cycle will change forever with the expectant birth of twins into our family. I have tried to identify different patterns and problems with my sleep that sometimes causes my sleeplessness, but it has been hard to nail down. I have tried different techniques and some have worked at times and not at others.
So as I sit here, at 3:30AM, writing a post about sleeping well, while I’m not sleeping well, I thought I’d dig up some good tips for both you and me to try when counting sheep doesn’t work.
1. See a Doctor
Insomnia can be a symptom of physical disorders, although for most of us it’s the result of tension, stress and anxiety—and of course the more anxious we get about our insomnia, the worse it gets. If your doctor pronounces you a “healthy” insomniac, he might suggest some of the techniques provided here. Or she might prescribe drugs to help you get to sleep.
2. Take a Warm Bath
It’s a great way to relax your body. Don’t overdo it, however. You merely want to relax your body, not exhaust it. Too long in hot water and your body is drained of vitality.
Use bath salts, or throw in Epsom salts and baking soda—one cup of each. These will relax you and also help remove toxins from your body.
3. Get a Massage
Have your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great. If not, even a short backrub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.
4. Listen to Music
Play some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are even cassettes and records designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat.
Of course if you don’t have a record, cassette or CD player that will automatically turn off, we don’t suggest this. If you have to get up and turn it off at the end, you’ve obviously lost its effect.
5. Drink Warm Milk
A glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax.
6. Drink Herb Tea
If you don’t like milk—or are avoiding dairy products—try a cup of hot camomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.
(Tips from Insomia)
What are some things that you use to help sleep? Let us know in the comments section. Happy Resting!