It's no secret that insomnia is rampant in our 24/7/365 "I want it now" world. However, lack of sleep is bad for your health and productivity. If you face insomnia more than occasionally see your doctor. Sometimes the cause is just plain stress and other times it may be an underlying health problem.
Try some of these relaxation techniques in addition to following your doctor's orders:
1. Turn off technology at least one hour before bed. The light from the television, computer and your cell phone confuses your brain into thinking it is daytime.
2. Try several different relaxation techniques to find what works for you. Yoga, meditation, prayer, hypnosis and relaxation CDs are all tools that may help you fall asleep faster and wake less often.
3. Consider using a white noise machine or a fan to drown out unwanted noise during the night. Repetitive, soothing white noise can also calm the brain and help you relax.
4. Take a warm (not hot) bath before bed. Use lavender scented bubble bath.
5. Fix yourself a cup of hot chamomile tea. Chamomile has been used for stress relief for centuries.
6. Journal away your problems. Release what is bothering you that day by writing it down in a notebook just before bedtime.
7. Use a heat pack wrapped around your neck or part of your back.
8. Listen to a CD of children's lullabies.
9. Practice deep breathing throughout the day to relieve stress and just before bed to relax.
10. Count backwards. Try the technique used by the anesthesiologists at hospitals. Start out at 100 and count backwards until you fall asleep. If you wake in the night repeat the exercise!