8 Ways to Beat Insomnia

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8 Ways to Beat Insomnia

Written by Melinda Hershey, Staff Writer

It's safe to say that we've all had nights where we stare at the ceiling in frustration, unable to fall asleep for whatever reason (sometimes, for no reason at all!). The next time you find yourself unsuccessfully counting sheep, try these tips to get on the road to better snoozing.

Cut Back on Caffeine

Even if you downed your last cup of coffee much earlier in the day, it can still disrupt your sleeping habits. Stop consuming caffeinated beverages about six hours before bedtime for better shut-eye.

Find a Relaxing Activity

Reading a book, listening to some soft music, journaling, or writing a letter are all great ways to shut down your mind at night. Don't watch television or use the computer, as the bright screens will actually stimulate your brain more, causing you to stay alert.

Hide the Clock

If you have an alarm clock with light-up numbers, turn it away from you so you can’t count the passing minutes that you’re not sleeping. This will only aggravate you and make your insomnia worse.

Take Care of Your Body

Regular exercise and a healthy diet have been proven time and again to aid in good sleeping patterns. However, if you're prone to sleeping problems, try not to exercise right before bed, as this can energize you and keep your body awake.

Make Some Noise

Although a quieter environment usually makes for better sleep, sometimes a little bit of background ''white'' noise can actually help you sleep more soundly. White noise tends to block out other distracting sounds that could keep you awake, and it's been shown that people who have white noise in the background in their bedrooms tend to wake up less during the night. Try turning on a fan, or play a CD of peaceful nature noises as you fall asleep.

Just Breathe

If you're consistently having trouble sleeping, you could be too tensed up from the stresses of the day to be able to shut down your mind and body. Starting with your feet, flex and then relax your muscles, moving up your body as you go. Focus on breathing in for eight seconds, and then breathing out for eight seconds. This will get your body prepped for the natural rhythm of sleep. You could also try some light, relaxing yoga before bed.

Write Down Your To-Do List

A lot of people can't sleep simply because they're thinking about all the things they have to do the next day. It might help you to write down a to-do list before bed to organize your thoughts. As soon as it's on the paper, drop it from your head. There is no use worrying about it now if you can't do anything about it until tomorrow!

Create a Routine

Doing the same set of activities consistently every night before bed will signal your body that it's time to settle down. It doesn't have to be complicated; try packing your lunch for the next day, followed by taking a bath and brushing your teeth. (Don't take a shower, though--that will have an opposite, energizing effect.)

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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7/26/2016 10:02:17 AM

YOLONGO's SparkPage


6/22/2016 3:09:32 PM

I agree with others about the lighted digital clock. Fortunately I can't read it without putting on glasses, but the bright light disturbs me. So, we keep it closer to my husband's side of the bed and sometimes turned away from the bed when an issue.


6/1/2016 11:16:18 PM

CARENNON's SparkPage
I must be different than the people this slideshow is referring to. Screens can put me to sleep. Breathing deeply wakes me up as it cause a mini-panic attack. Taking a shower makes me extremely tired and so does soda, because my eyes feel heavier and tingly after both of those activities. I do agree about the alarm clock and writing the to do list (or whatever is on your mind)


10/18/2015 8:50:27 PM

I think that i'll try points 7 and 8.


10/18/2015 5:57:34 PM

Meditate! Highly recommended: Dr Wayne Dyer's Getting in the Gap. Video/his spoken leadership through the exercise is on youtube. Kindle book available, too.


10/18/2015 5:54:34 PM

like anything else, it will only bother you if you think it will ;-)


10/18/2015 5:53:42 PM

white noise is great!


10/18/2015 4:23:41 PM

I started doing the breathing exercise when was learning about meditation; it really helps to "check in" with each body part, starting with my toes. I never get very far, and then my alarm goes off and I am refreshed.


10/18/2015 3:24:01 PM

Reading does not make me sleepy so I often try to do puzzles instead. They are word puzzles but then I find myself trying too hard for the answers


10/18/2015 12:02:07 PM

MARTHA324's SparkPage
I think this routine really helps & I turn off electronics too


10/18/2015 8:58:09 AM

DEERLADY45's SparkPage
GOOD idea writing down what is on your mind


10/18/2015 5:51:01 AM

I have trouble sleeping from chronic pain. What works best for me is wearing a sleep mask, using a heating pad, an NSAID like ibuprofen or aspirin, deep breathing, a fan, and having on an app that makes nature sounds that I can set to turn off in 30 or 40 minutes. If that still doesn't work I drink Yogi Caramel Bedtime Tea. I absolutely can't sleep at all if there's any light at all, so my sleep mask is a must. I have two of them, and while one is in the wash I use the other one; I wash them every time I change the sheets.


5/28/2015 8:51:01 PM

I have tried all kind of remedies and it didn't work. Praying is the only thing that worked for me.


8/19/2014 8:02:33 PM

I ask myself, "what do you have that is so worth staying awake for?" Sometimes that works. When I still can't sleep I pray for family--why waste the time? Also sometimes I start factoring numbers, I usually don't make it past the 30's.


8/19/2014 4:57:31 PM

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