Car alarms, a snoring mate, racing thoughts all can keep us awake. But usually insomnia is the SYMPTOM, NOT THE PROBLEM. Treat the problem, not the symptom, right!?! Good “sleep hygiene’ (which is what we call it in the medical biz) goes a little something like this:
1) chill-out on the caffeine—if you drink more than one coffee a day, especially late in the day or after dinner, does it surprise you that you can’t fall asleep? Same goes for diet-coke (which unless you want to feed your body chemicalized acid, you shouldn’t be drinking any way, Missy!) and chocolate too, can keep the peepers from moving to the ‘off’ position.
2)no napping during the day—if you are napping during the day then A) you’re not getting enough sleep B)you are having a sugar crash C) you are jet lagged d) you’ve been drugged; I don’t care which of these applies, no napping! Push through and get a GREAT night’s sleep! And try to go to bed the same time and get up the same time each day (for a total of 8 hours, or course)!
3) de-stress—racing thoughts is the most common reason I hear for inability to fall asleep; there’s a reason you can sleep, you are too rev-ed up! Yoga and meditation prevent medication! Find a way to squash the thoughts, whether it’s taking on less, or spending a hour during the day to organize or address whatever’s plaguing you! Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, which brings us to…
4)Exercise! DAILY! You don’t have to do 100 yard sprints for a hour every day, but move every day that ends in “y”; this improves your sleep; just try to do it 3 hours prior to zzzzz-time because it can wake you up/over-stimulate you
5) don’t have another—alcohol fouls-up your sleep, not just because you have to get up to pee all night, but it actually disturbs sleep architecture. That and dehydration is why you don’t feel so hot post boozing!
6) limit screen time before bed—the TV and computer, and yes, even iphones can trick the ole’ rods and cones into thinking it’s day time, so try to something other than the screen trance prior to bed
7) only sleep and, ahem, ‘couple’ in bed. No eating, TV watching or other daily activities. The bed is the sacred sleeping and, ahem, shaggin ground. ya’ hear me?