I Can’t Sleep! What Should I Do? – Sleep Advice

 

It’s important to look at your ‘sleep hygiene’ when trying to figure out the reasons for insomnia. Supplements and drugs can provide short term relief but in the long term if sleep hygiene isn’t improved then the root of the problem is never addressed and the problem may reoccur, or reliance on drugs could lead to further problems.

Here is a list of important things to consider that could help improve your sleep:

  • Its important to avoid television, computers and phones before you sleep. Never watch television in bed, and avoid using any of these devices at least an hour before sleeping.
  • Bed should only be used for sex and sleep. If you need to watch television or read because you cant sleep then force yourself to get out of bed and move to another room. Once you start feeling sleepy again move back to your bed.
  • Don’t force sleep early if you are having difficulty falling asleep. If you aren’t going to fall asleep early then dont send yourself off to bed at 8pm. Push yourself to stay up to 11pm or later, and just relax and enjoy the evening time.
  • Alcohol can help you feel relaxed but using it to sleep is never a good idea. If you are going to choose to medicate yourself to sleep then see a doctor or therapist who can prescribe the correct dosage of sleeping medication.
  • Don’t work at night. Working on a computer or trying to get work done in the evenings will only make sleep problems worse. Force yourself to stop working at least 3 or 4 hours before you intend to go to bed.
  • Obviously try to avoid any stimulants such as caffeine in the evenings. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine and even a coffee at lunch time can still be effecting them in the evenings.
  • If you take vitamins try to take them in the mornings. Some vitamins give you a boost of energy in the hours after taking them, so taking earlier in the day will prevent them from causing sleep problems.
  • If there is something on your mind then write it down. Keep a notepad by the bed and if something comes into your head and bugs you then lean over, write it down and forget about it until the morning. Remember there is nothing you can do about it in the middle of the night. The best thing you can do is sleep. Things almost always feel worse and more stressful than they really are in the night, and you’ll probably find they are much less of a big deal when you read the list in the morning. Remember to read the list and deal with the things on it each morning. If you don’t then you may start to distrust the process of writing it down in the night. You need to believe that you will actually nib it in the bud in the morning.
  • Read a book that isn’t so boring that you wont pick it up, but that also isn’t so exciting that you cant put it down.
  • Listen to relaxing music with no lyrics.
  • Meditate or try yoga
  • Get exercise during the day, but not too late in the evening or the buzz from it may keep you awake.
  • Try herbal teas, but make sure they are not diuretics or they may keep you going too and from the bathroom all night.
  • Try herbal medicines including Melatonin or Valerian which are not too harsh, but try not to become reliant on them.
  • Speaking to a counselor can also help you work out any issues that may be going on in your life that are effecting your sleep.
  • Hormones can play a part in sleep disruptions for women. Keep this in mind and if you think it could be the cause then speak to a doctor.