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Send Insomnia Packing


Insomnia can be nightmare to live with, and it can be a headache to determine what exactly is causing the sleeplessness. Medical conditions, chronic pain, depression, diet, caffeine, stress or even another sleep disorder like restless leg syndrome may trigger problems with sleep.

Regardless of what causes their condition, insomniacs may spend hours lying in bed, tossing and turning, trying desperately to doze off–and the very stress of not being able to sleep can contribute to sleeplessness.

Researchers have found that one of the best things insomniacs can do to is to get out of bed, stop stressing about problems with sleeping, and engage in activities that turn off your brain. Consistent sleep routines can also ameriolate the problem.

Five tips to help you create and maintain a successful sleep routine:

  1. Avoid caffeine after two in the afternoon. Don’t forget hidden sources like soda, and some headache medicines.
  2. Adopt practices such as meditation, massage or yoga.
  3. Schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. You can break up these minutes into pockets of 10 minutes if you have to. For instance, expose yourself to morning light (helpful for calibrating the body’s natural clock) with a brisk walk before breakfast, then take another 10-minute walk at lunch, and another stroll after dinner.
  4. Go to bed and get up at the same time seven days a week.
  5. Set aside a “power down” hour before bedtime. Stop work. No chores. Do something relaxing like taking a warm bath, engaging in light reading, or watching TV if that’s relaxing for you (avoid the news channels).

It’s best to associate being in bed with being asleep, not with being awake and stressing about not being asleep. A healthy sleep routine can help you do so, and though it seems a little contradictory, so can getting out of bed if you’re really struggling to fall asleep.

Sweet dreams,

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D.
The Sleep Doctor™

View original article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/insomnia-relief_b_825192.html

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