Better Sleep Tips :: Help Me Sleep

Better Sleep Tips :: Help Me Sleep

Any person who has experienced insomnia counting sheep, know the effectiveness of this strategy is highly debatable. The good news is that in the case of transient and short-term insomnia (and to some extent, also in case of chronic insomnia), this may be being caused by a number of factors that one can independently identify and modify in order to sleep better.

These factors can be classified into two areas: external and internal - from the outside there are the issues related to time, the environment of sleep and food, among the internals consider the role of physical sensations and thoughts experienced when the person is trying to sleep. If you have a problem of insomnia, the more likely you are making mistakes on at least one of these factors - identify these errors and try to modify them according to the following suggestions.

Tip 1 - Set a time to go to bed


Many people who have insomnia are used to fill the evening with activities other than sleeping, and to compensate for this they sleep during the day. This makes the night linked to everything else but sleep and the day to be associated with sleep. This would not be a problem if most of the tasks in the daily life were made at night...


Choose a sleep schedule that is reasonable and sticking to it consistently. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, leaving it at the same time every morning, not sleeping at other times. The aim is to weaken the association of night with activities that interfere with sleep, and strengthen its association with sleep, so that in this period, sleep pass to occur spontaneously and naturally. Additionally, you will weaken the association of days with sleep and start associating it with other activities.

On the Friday and Saturday nights, probably you will not want to go to bed at the same time that during the remaining days of the week... which is understandable. In any case, do not postpone the bedtime by more than one or two hours, because the more you get out of normal hours of sleep, the harder it will be to return to it.

If, in a particular night you slept badly...

  • Get up at the same time that you would do if this had not happened and do not do naps during the day. While this could alleviate fatigue in the day, would probably in that night could affect your ability to fall asleep at the time that it was supposed to happen and the next day too, again being necessary to sleep later or make a nap... That is, be contributing to the perpetuation of the problem. If you need to rest in the afternoon is preferable that you do by doing an activity that is relaxing.
  • Probably you feel like to go to bed earlier that night to compensate for lost sleep - do not do that! Go to bed later (if you have only x hours slept per night, and lie only x hours before the hour is supposed to wake up). This will make the time you spend in bed is indeed time that you are sleeping. If you still have trouble sleeping, you will lie down proportionately even later. As the time you spend in bed will be turned into sleep time, you can begin to gradually advance (15 or 30 minutes a day for about a week) your hour of resting.

Tip 2 - Create an environment that helps sleep


Often, insomnia can result from using the bed/bedroom for activities other than sleeping (listen to music, study, read, watch TV, eat...) and going to sleep in places other than your bed/bedroom (sofa, seat of the bus, the room where you have the first class in the morning...). This makes the bed/bedroom becomes associated with less sleep and all the other sites become associated with sleep.


An idea that can be helpful is to use the bed (and if possible, the room) only to sleep, preventing doing other activities. If it is impossible not to use the room for other activities, avoid physical contact with the bed. Likewise, avoid sleeping in places other than this. The aim is to weaken the association of bed/bedroom with activities that interfere with sleep, and strengthen its association with sleep, so that at this point the sleep occur spontaneously and naturally. Additionally, you will weaken the association of other places to sleep and start associating them with other activities.

Also included in "other activities not involving sleep" is that period when you try unsuccessfully to fall asleep. So lie down only when you have to sleep, if after about 30 minutes you're still not sleeping, get out of bed (and bedroom) and try to do something relaxing, in the dark, until you start to feel drowsy if when you get back to bed still unable to fall asleep quickly, repeat the procedure until you can. Thus, you will eventually associate the bed and bedroom to fall asleep quickly.

Tip 3 - Food, what to eat and what not to eat


For insomnia may also contribute food aspects. This is either because you go to sleep hungry, or because of what you eat and drink before go to bed may have a disruptive effect on sleep. This is the case of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate and cola) and foods containing tyrosine (such as cheese and fermented food). The alcohol is also to avoid, as it can even help you sleep, but the sleep you get is shallow and disturbed, with a tendency to wake up too early. Nicotine also is not recommended.


Do not drink beverages containing caffeine or alcohol during the night. Make snacks (with at least two hours in advance before going to bed).
Dinner is an important meal (for some the most substantial of the day), but must occur early enough so that you do not go to bed at the height of digestion. If you feel like it make a light snack before bed time.
Another relevant question is to know what to eat/drink. Milk is a good option, as it contains a substance (tryptophan) that induces sleep, if accompanied by a slice of bread or other foods with carbohydrates, better yet, because these will help this substance to be absorbed, enhancing its effect. We advise you to try warm milk and a tablespoon of honey, a natural remedy for sleep inducing.

Tip 4 - It's all about relaxation


People with insomnia are usually people who live in a permanent state of physiological stress, state that will make it difficult to sleep.


It is important to try to find a way in the routine that promotes physical relaxation at the time to sleep, and to discover what works on you, no one will be better than yourself. Anyway, some suggestions may be relevant.

It is strongly advised to keep yourself physically active during the day, and this is particularly important in the days after those nights when you sleep poorly. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely it is to be able to relax at night. However, strenuous exercise is to avoid the last three or four hours before bed time.

Exercises such as yoga or relaxation exercises are good with a quiet music to calm and relax.

About an hour or half hour before bedtime this ritual implements a physical relaxation. You can, for example, take a long hot bath (showers are not the best option, the best is the famous bath for about 30 minutes with very hot water). Some people develop and practice their own procedure for muscle relaxation and other relaxation techniques practiced in accordance with instructions that are available in several books.

Tip 5 - Shut down your thoughts


Typically, people who have insomnia when the time comes to bed, "take" many problems in the head, which continue to think while they are in bed, and this makes difficult to fall asleep.


The main objective is to "disconnect from thinking" in the time to go to sleep. Every one knows better than anyone what works in themselves, but some suggestions may be helpful:

  • For example, seek to avoid during this period, activities that are very challenging and find others that allow you to begin to relax - like stop studying for that exam that terrifies you for months and going to vegetate in front of the TV, listen soothing music or put the room in order (some people sleep better in a tidy environment).

If you're one of those people who begin to brood mentally about the 1001 problems you will be resolving during the next day, or in life in general, here are some suggestions to add to the above:

  • If you experience something that you should remember the next day, get up, write it and let the thought aside.
  • Another option is the book, for example, 30 minutes per day for worrying about the problems you have to solve. You can even record all your problems and possible solutions. When you're trying to sleep and problems are found, you think you can look at them during the "period of concern" the next day.

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