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If you have trouble falling asleep, you may need to include some sleep tactics in your bag of bedroom tricks.
Do nothing in your bedroom but sleep and have sex. If you work, watch TV, surf the Net on your laptop, or work out to fitness DVDs in the room, you're basically training your body to be alert in that bedroom space. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from the normal hustle and bustle of life.
Practice good sleep hygiene. That means you should make a sleep schedule (plan your eight hours); before that eight hour period starts, give yourself 10 minutes to do the quick chores (like make lunch for the next day) absolutely needed for the next day, another 10 minutes for hygiene and 10 minutes for meditation (all before starting the eight hours). Some even dim the lights in their bedroom several hours before sleep to transition from artificial light to darkness. Another helper: Make sure your room is cool; the ideal sleep temp seems to be a room that's around 67? F.
Add in a power nap. Just make sure to keep it under 30 minutes. Any longer than that and you'll slip into a stage of deeper sleep so close to the dreamy REM phase that when awoken from it, you'll feel hung over and drowsy (that feeling by the way, is called sleep inertia, and is associated with making bad financial judgments and getting into auto accidents). At less than 30 minutes, a nap can be invigorating.
Sleep medications may be helpful for some insomnia sufferers, but before you reach for the pills, consider some easy tips for better sleeping:
Evaluate your sleep hygiene. Avoid watching TV, eating, or working in bed. Make the bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Keep the temperature a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house, and hide bedroom clocks so you're not constantly checking the time as you try to fall asleep. Try sticking to a sleep schedule and limiting naps or daytime sleeping.
Get active. Thirty minutes of exercise each day (at least 5 to 6 hours before bedtime) will help you get more restful sleep at night.
Avoid triggers. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine or large meals before bedtime can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep throughout the night. Though many people use alcohol to get to sleep initially, alcohol actually compromises the quality of sleep you get overnight.
Check your medications. Make sure they don't contain stimulants. Talk to your doctor about other options if you think your prescriptions are preventing you from getting good sleep.
Stressful life events also commonly trigger insomnia. If you think anxiety is the underlying problem behind your insomnia, relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and deep breathing exercises may be helpful techniques to fight off tension at bedtime.
Whatever the cause, insomnia can have devastating consequences on your health and quality of life. The key to relief is resolving the underlying cause.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.