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- Self-Help for Sleep Issues & Sleeplessness
Ways to Get Better Sleep
If you have ever been plagued by insomnia, you probably know how important a goods night sleep can be. Here are a few tips to help you get the best sleep you possibly can.
Ban Blue Lights
The soft light of your cell phone, digital clock, PDA, etc. may be what is keeping you from getting the best sleep of your life. Research has shown that the short waves of blue light may interfere with sleep. Turn off computers, TVs, and other producers of blue light at least one hour prior to bed time.
Naps Are Out
Napping may sound like a good idea, but sometimes they can do more harm than good. If you are having trouble falling alseep at night, try not to sleep during the day. If you must snooze, however, do so early in the day and try keeping it to 20 minutes or less. When the desire to nap hits you try going for a walk instead.
Calibrate Your Body Clock
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is the best way to set your body clock. This means no more sleeping in on the weekends, unfortunately. Once your body is used to rising and sleeping at the same time every day, it will be easier for you to fall asleep at the designated time.
Coffee and tea should be consumed in the morning. Caffeine interferes with the deeper stages of sleep and can impact your rest significantly.Try cutting off caffeine after noon. Also, be careful of hidden sources of caffeine. For example, many pain relievers and weight loss pills contain caffeine as well.
Try to avoid heavy foods and big meals late in the day. High quality sleep can be interrupted by an overtaxed digestive system. Instead, if you must eat later in the day, try a lighter snack and finish any snack at least an hour before bedtime.
Limit the Drinks
Any interruption of sleep reduces the quality of your slumber. This includes sleep that is interrupted by trips to the bathroom. Avoid this mishap by giving yourself a strict drink cut off time. 8 pm is a good time to aim for.
Dim the Lights
Approximately 2 to 3 hourss before bedtime, dim the lights around the house. Turn off the "noise" of the day by putting away any work or complex decisions you may have. Lowering the lights signals the brain to produce a sleep hormone called melatonin.
Sometimes it seems like you can hear every single bump in the night. Neutralize these sounds through the use of ear plugs, fans, or other forms of "white noise."
Establish a Sleep Routine
Create a "winding down" period in the evening. This may consists of a nice book, some meditation, or a nice warm bath. Doing a routine consistently will soon help get your body into the mindset of sleep.
When to See the Doctor
If your sleeplessness lasts for at least a month it may mean that it's time to see the doctor. In some cases insomnia is symptomatic of an underlying problem.