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Please suggest good bedtime habits you've found to combat insomnia.

Updated on June 14, 2008

See it as a positive

A few years ago, I had terrible insomnia. I tossed and turned for hours on end and still sleep eluded me. I did all the usual things: I cut out caffeine, I had a milky drink, I read very dull books before going to bed, I tried to establish a routine, I tried to go to bed earlier/later, I tried meditation. Nothing helped and I dreaded going to bed as i knew that I was in for another night of torture with unwanted thoughts assailling me.

Then one day I thought that instead of wasting these hours in useless fretting, I was going to utilise the time and do interesting things that I had no time for during the day.

So I would go to bed as normal but as soon as I started tossing and turning, I would get up quietly and while the rest of the household was asleep you would find me busily engaged in all sorts of quiet activities. During that time, I wrote children's stories, I studied a new language, I learnt to crochet, I made plans to redecorate the house, I made dolls' clothes for my daughters, I even baked cakes. This went on for several months. I would still go to bed first and attempt to sleep and I found that I no longer dreaded going to bed but in fact looked forward to my hours of creative solitude.

And do you know what happened? One day I went to bed and fell asleep straight away and now I seldom have bouts of insomnia and although I only sleep 6 or 7 hours a night, it's very good restorative sleep and I wake up refreshed. The only times I have trouble sleeping now is if I have taken some form of caffeine after midday and this includes not just coffee and tea but also green tea and a lot of carbonated drinks, alcohol will also disturb sleep.

I think anxiety about insomnia is a big factor in causing it. Try to see your waking hours as a plus. You simply have more time than other people to do the things you really like in absolute peace and quiet. I have come to miss that time but now I sleep soundly.....


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    • martinecallaghan profile image

      Martine Callaghan 9 years ago from Edinburgh - Scotland

      Thanks Helen. I discovered it by chance and it worked for me. Although I have to add that it took several months and that stimulants like coffee or tea still have the power to keep me awake.

    • Pashun profile image

      Pashun 9 years ago from Harpyland

      Good hub~ A lot of people try to force sleep on themselves (especially if they have something to do the next day) so it creates a very stressful atmosphere around the bed. Also- it's important to only use the bed for sleep and sex. If you pay bills or watch TV or read while on the bed you begin to associate those "busy thoughts" to a place that should only have peaceful, tranquil thoughts.