Can't Sleep at Night? Try These Sleeping Techniques

Improve Sleep Time by Trying Some Pre-Sleeping Tips

Prescription sleeping pills should be used as a last resort. Lack of sleep affects more than just our day.
Prescription sleeping pills should be used as a last resort. Lack of sleep affects more than just our day.

Effective Remedies for Insomnia Are Enough to Keep You Awake at Night

Sleep isn’t just something we like, it’s something we need, like air and water. It’s when our body restores itself and we feel much better after a bout of it. Studies have shown that prolonged sleep loss can damage our health and personality. Difficulty sleeping even shortens our lifespan when it deprives us of sleep regularly!

Some people just have a hard time unwinding, or relaxing enough to sleep. One way to help relieve that is to use creative visualization, everyone can do it, but some people need more practice than others. To do anything well you need practice.

Close your eyes and picture a place that feels happy and content. Imagine the whole place; is it a building? A mountain top? We’ll say it’s a meadow with a building off to one side, and there’s wildflowers all over the meadow. Get a good picture of it, and then start visualizing the details; what kind of trees? What kind of wildflowers are there, and is there a path running through it?

Visualize every detail, the pattern of the veins in the leaves, the conifer trees have cones on them, etc. Many times a person can fall asleep getting lost in the details. If you’ve detailed every single thing you can think of, go inside the building and start with those details. Keep going as far as you can with the details.

A Natural Sleep Remedy Without Grogginess

There’s a method called ‘thought pushing.’ This is where you decide on a thought to keep for a sleepless night. It works great for those with a racing mind or when someone’s feelings have been hurt. Choose what to think about and then save it. When a sleepless night comes along due to something that happened between you and someone else, or at your job, etc., you push those intrusive thoughts out and bring in the preselected thought. Focus hard on the thought, think of more things to think about it. For example, every time you can't sleep, think about algebra, or some other pre-selected subject matter that doesn't rile you up. Hurt feelings are not only hard to sleep through, but you can’t forget them for a while. This is a very common sleep thief.

There are those who use the inability to sleep to their advantage. The best case scenario is one where the insomniac uses their awake time to function and then sleep later, in the day. One comedian in Portland, Oregon tells about being funnier when she’s punchy from sleep loss, so she writes her scripts in those times. See if there’s any way you can make your insomnia work for you, too. It’s worth a shot.

Insomnia Facts: It Might Be You

Often, we create habits that we don’t even think about before doing them, they’re almost automatic. Some people can’t drive without smoking and some can’t watch TV without munchies in their lap. They’ve always done it.

One is exercising too late in the day or in the evening. That’s a sure way to stay up late. Your body gets into the workout and it won’t calm down enough to sleep for hours.

Another is watching TV in bed, or until you go to sleep. TV is a huge sleep thief. You think you’ll watch it until you’re sleepy, but then you watch until the end of the show, and then the next show. You focus on it. You aren’t likely to get sleepy if you have insomnia and watch TV.

Cure for Insomnia: Stay Out of Bed

Among doctor recommended ways to help sleep is staying out of the bedroom unless you’re in bed trying to sleep. And don’t stay there longer than 25 minutes. If you haven’t dozed off in 25 minutes you aren’t ready for sleep, yet. Lying there, tossing and turning and looking at the clock doesn’t do you any good. Get up and do something that calms you, like painting on a canvas, reading or crafting. Again - don’t watch TV in the bedroom.

Another strategy is to only spend the number of hours in the bedroom that you actually sleep. For instance, if you only get 3 hours of sleep, then make yourself stay up until three hours before you have to get up. Once you sleep the entire three hours each nigh for a week, add 30 minutes and give that a try for a week. Continue to add time until you can sleep at least seven hours in a row.

Insomnia Research Says: Don't Get Mad or Sleeping Aids Won't Work

The more you watch the clock while trying to sleep, the more upset you may get. Getting angry or upset doesn’t help in the least because it makes your heart pound and your blood go and it wakes you all the way up. There’s no way you’re going to sleep while you’re all riled up inside.

Try to get up at the same time every day, even if you only slept three hours. It’ll help to recondition your body so you only sleep at night and you’ll be more tired when you do go to bed.

Relaxation techniques, meditation, progressive relaxation and others are good methods to relax the body enough to sleep. Google ‘relaxation exercises’ and see what you come up with. You can also look up Yoga and other tips in the nearby library or join a class. The classes are held at sleep centers and health clinics all over town.

There are also a plethora of books, tapes, videos and you can get consultation with a professional. They’re easy to find.

Remember, it IS temporary and you won’t go crazy. It’s just going to take some time, and sleep will come back to you.

Sources:, "What to do About Insomnia ," no author’s name or publishing date.

Harvard Health Publications Special Health Report, “Improving Sleep: A Guide to a Good Night’s Rest ,” pages 1, 2 and 3, published 2005, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

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Sarzn 5 years ago

Good information :) I also have a Hub on how to improve Sleep, if You want to take a look for some more ideas?

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