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5 Ways to Beat Insomnia and Get a Better Night's Sleep

By Vonnie Kennedy
 
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It’s Sunday night, the weekend is over, it’s time to turn in early and get a good night’s sleep, so you'll wake up fresh and ready for work in the morning.

You just have time to grab the last piece of cake, hop in bed and turn on Mad Men. That should make you sleepy, right?

Wrong!

It would be great if comfort food and watching TV was the answer to insomnia, but unfortunately, that cake will spike your sugar levels and make your body think it’s time to wake up.

And watching TV in the bedroom just gets your brain going. It might take your mind off tomorrow’s big project temporarily, but you’ll think about it again once the lights go off, insomnia is back.

According to Health magazine, you only have to tweak your lifestyle a little bit to beat insomnia and get a better night’s sleep.

Here’s how:

1. Shut down caffeine after lunch.
If you’ve made a habit of drinking soda, tea, and coffee — including decaf in the afternoon or evening — you may want to cut back if you’re not sleeping. "If caffeine is still in your system when you go to bed, your sleep is going to be lighter, more fragmented, and less restorative," says Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California.

2. Step away from the electronics.
If you are serious about getting a good night’s sleep, you have to shut down TV, phone, laptop, or anything else that tends to stimulate your brain. Kenneth Lichstein, PhD, director of the Sleep Research Project at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa says, "People should be conditioned to know that this is a place for sleeping, not for other non-sleeping activities.”

3. Lavish yourself in lavender.
Studies have shown that the scent of lavender helps send you into lala-land. A cheap lavender spray on your pillow or soaking in lavender bubble bath before bed can relax your mind and body and promote needed Zs.

4. Boost Your Magnesium/Calcium intake.
If taken together and just before bed, a calcium/magnesium combo promotes a restful sleep before you can say, "I can’t sleep.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

These are wonderful tips – thank you. I also find that unwinding with relaxing music, or even better, guided meditation CDs designed for insomnia sufferers really helps me relax and fall asleep easily. Belleruth Naparstek has some more tips about beating insomnia as well on her blog.

June 26, 2012 - 7:15am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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