Insomnia: Tips to get to sleep

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I sometimes suffer from insomnia.  It is something that I have had to deal with since from when I was a child.  It takes me a long time to fall asleep no matter how tired I am and once I am asleep, I usually wake up several times during the night.  When it’s really bad, I literally wake up every 20 minutes.  Sleep is important to our health and when I do not get enough rest, it triggers other health problems for me.  Over the years I have learned a few tips and tricks to help me with my insomnia.  They don’t always work, but I have gotten more sleep than I would have with out them.  Here are my tips to help you get to sleep:

Designate your bed as a place only for sleeping.  Don’t read in bed, watch tv in bed, etc.  If when you think of bed you think of homework, work or something other than sleeping, you will likely have a difficult time falling asleep.

Drink a cup of Chamomile tea.  Chamomile tea is a calming tea that can also relax you.  Drinking a cup always helps to relax me when I’ve had a long work day.  Just make sure that you drink it early enough to use the restroom BEFORE you go to bed.

Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or on a cloth inside of your pillowcase.  This one I have not actually tried yet because EO’s are expensive.  I purchased some cheap stuff off of ebay, but I got what I paid for so be careful of that.  Lavender essential oil is said to have a pleasant calming effect as well.  Aromatherapist’s use it often in their practices to relax individuals.

Take some melatonin.  Melatonin is produced by the body naturally and helps to regulate sleep.  You can purchase melatonin capsules in the herb/supplement section of your local grocery store.  Take the recommended dosage listed on the bottle.  This is usually a last resort for me because I just don’t like taking anything at all.  If all of my other techniques fail and I am still laying there awake, I will take some melatonin.  It usually works about 85% of the time.

Do relaxation exercises.  Try practicing progressive muscle relaxation.  While laying in bed, tense the top of your head (I do my forehead) and then slowly relax the muscles in your forehead as much as you can.  Start to work your way down your body concentrating on each muscle group/body part until you get to your toes.  You should be completely relaxed.  If you can clear your mind as well, you should be able to fall asleep.

Do yoga – deep breathing poses.  There are yoga poses that you can do that allow you to practice and engage in deep breathing.  Deep breathing exercises help to relax me when I am stressed out and stress for me can hinder the coming of the sandman.  I do crocodile pose and child’s pose to relax and breathe.

Exercise.  I find that if I get a good workout in at least 4 hours before I actually go to bed, I fall asleep quickly and sleep like a baby.  It has to be a good strenuous workout, for this to happen though.

Hopefully these tips will help you get a good night’s rest!

Freelance Graphic Designer, Lifestyle Blogger, Natural Hair Enthusiast and Fitness Convert...yeah, I wear a lot of hats. :)