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Tips for falling asleep

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Ten helpful tips for falling asleep: beyond counting sheep for sweet dreams

Ten helpful tips for falling asleep: beyond counting sheep for sweet dreams

Many people experience difficulties falling asleep. In fact, it seems to be one of Murphy?s Laws that sleepless nights always come at the worst possible time, such as the night before a big report is due, the night before an academic exam, or the night before an important airplane flight. 

If you have never had a sleepless night, you are in the minority. 

Before you panic, it is important to know that a sleepless night can be caused by a wide variety of factors.  Take some time to try to determine the underlying cause of your restlessness before you consult a doctor. 

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If you only experience the occasional sleepless night, there are many helpful tips for falling asleep.  Only if a poor night?s sleep becomes chronic, should you be concerned about insomnia, sleep disorders, or other medical reasons. 

If counting sheep just isn?t working, here is a list of tried and true tips for falling asleep.  Not all suggestions will work for every individual; stick with the ones that suit your personal lifestyle.  With any luck, these ten tips for falling asleep will help you to achieve pleasant dreams.

Ten Tips For Falling Asleep:

1)    Follow a regular sleep schedule.  Although this is not always the easiest thing to do, it is the healthiest way to prevent sleeplessness.  Try going to bed at the same time each night.  Also try to adhere to your sleep schedule on weekends.  In fact, if you do follow a consistent sleep schedule, it?s quite possible that you may no longer need an alarm clock!

2)    Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and high sugar foods.  If you are experiencing sleeping problems, cut back on the amount of coffee or soda you drink during the day.  Especially avoid sugary snacks or anything with caffeine before bedtime.

3)    Invest in a high quality mattress.  Sagging mattresses, broken springs, or other uncomfortable sleeping conditions can certainly interfere with a good night?s sleep, and can also cause aches, pain, and serious health issues.  If it is time to replace your mattress, visit a bedding store to try out or test different brands, sizes, materials and varieties of mattresses.  Find one that will be most comfortable for your body type.  Comfortable bedding and pillows are also a key ingredient to a good nights sleep.

4)    Enjoy a warm bath or a hot shower before bedtime.  The hot water will certainly help to easy your tensions and relax your muscles.  The effect of raising your body temperature in hot water, and then slowly cooling off also produces a sleepy mood, which may ease your transition into a restful sleep.

5)    Darkness is the best sleep aid.  Make sure your sleeping environment is as dark as possible by lowering window shades preventing any stray light pollution.  If you are unable to prevent light entering your sleeping environment, purchase an eye mask to wear at night.  

6)    White noise, relaxing music and other sounds can have a positive effect on the process of falling to sleep.  Select some soft music, or even try turning on a fan to produce gentle, repetitive background noise.  If white noise seems to help you, considering purchasing a white noise machine or sound machine for your bedroom.  These machines offer a variety of tranquil sound options such as the ocean surf, gurgling brook, or wind in the pines.

7)    Aromatherapy can help ease you to sleep.  Many nutritionists, naturopaths and homeopathic doctors recommend the use of organic oils as a sleep aid.  Scientific research is now confirming the benefits of oils such as lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang.  Try adding a few drops of these oils to a warm bath, or let a few drops soak into your pillow case.

8)    Stress can be identified as one of the top contributors to sleep disorders.  We all know how it feels to toss and turn at night because our mind is racing as it tries to sort through the multitude of stresses in any given day.  If you are experiencing stress in your life, try gentle meditation techniques or gentle yoga at the end of the day.  Avoid confrontations, arguments or other tense situations before bedtime.  Instead, engage yourself in simple routines such as reading or watching a favorite television show or movie just before bed.  Even routines such as washing the dishes or folding laundry can have a soothing and relaxing effect.

9)    Drinking a cup of warm milk before bed is an old wives tale that many people still recognize as a significant sleep aid.  Milk does contain two ingredients that possess sleep inducing qualities, the hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan.  Although the amount of these substances present in a single glass of milk is not terribly significant, the warm temperature of the milk may be more linked to any relaxation or sleepiness resulting from ingesting the beverage.  

10)    Natural supplements can be a helpful sleep aid when nothing else seems to do the trick.  Prior to visiting a doctor or considering any over the counter or prescription sleeping pills, try melatonin, an all natural supplement.  


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