5 Tips to Help You Defeat Insomnia

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If your typical night's sleep involves a lot of tossing, turning, and staring at your ceiling, you may suffer from insomnia. As with 30 million other Americans, this condition affects more than just how you sleep; it affects your life. Poor-quality sleep can cause a lack of concentration at work and can limit the energy needed to spend time with family and friends. These methods work for many insomnia sufferers, and they may work for you, too.

Defeating Insomnia:

  1. Live healthy. A healthy you means better sleep. Make sure you get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and take daily vitamins. Not only will you sleep better, but when you get a good night's sleep, you'll be healthier, too. Just make sure that you don't exercise within three hours of bedtime to give your body a chance to cool down and to avoid being over-stimulated when it's time to go to sleep.

  2. Reduce stress. Many people who suffer from insomnia can't sleep because of stress and anxiety from the day. Train your body to get into a wind-down routine right before bed by doing things that relax you. Maybe take a warm bath, read a book, or listen to soothing music before bed. Try writing a to-do list for the next day to get it off your mind.

  3. Create comfort. Everything from the mattress on your bed to the color of your bedroom walls can influence your sleep patterns. Turn your bedroom into a comfortable, relaxing sleep zone. Make sure you've found the best, most comfortable mattress for you. Your room should be completely quiet and dark. Choose soothing colors, such as blue, for your walls and decor, avoiding bright colors, like yellow or orange. Avoid hanging art in your bedroom that depicts high-energy scenes. A clean and organized bedroom maintains a feeling of calmness.

  4. Eliminate distractions. The more distracted you are, the less sleep you'll get. Start by eliminating distractions from your bedroom, such as the TV, computer, and even your cell phone. Avoid watching TV, studying, reading, or doing anything else in your bed or bedroom when you're not sleeping. Your bed should only be used for sleep and intimacy. This will help trigger a response in your body to go to sleep when you crawl into bed.

  5. Make it routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. This will train your body to respond to these times of day, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up well rested in the morning. Limit your naps during the day to 20 minutes to prevent disrupting your body's natural sleep patterns.

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