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Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Worries Bite

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Why can't I fall asleep? This is an ongoing issue for many of us and in certain periods of our lives can wreck our quality of life, leaving us exhausted, out of sorts and unable to concentrate at work or with our families. Insomnia is one thing and repeated waking is another, and the sales of medication to improve or reduce or eliminate this problem have sky rocketed.

So what's the problem? It may be sleep apnea, for which there are studies to be done and medical routes to take. Or, it may be something else.

For now, let's focus on the problem of falling asleep naturally as opposed to waking repeatedly which is something you should consult your health provider about.

* Stress: The most common reason for not being able to fall asleep is stress. The worries of the day, a fight with a loved one, an argument or disagreement at work, bills piling up, a messy house, a less-than-desirable relationship, living arrangement, family situation--all of these and millions more can weigh on people so heavily that they literally toss and turn looking for answers, struggling with confusion and depression and simply not falling asleep. Exercise is so beneficial on so many levels. To address the stress in your life, having a good talk with a friend, seeking counseling and journaling can all help. But nothing beats exercise for just getting your head out of the issues bogging it down, getting the "feel good" chemicals, those endorphins flowing, and getting the blood and oxygen pumping through your system, making your skin glow, your muscles activate and your thoughts give way to your body. Naturally, you are also more physically tired later and your body may simply take over, shutting down and surrendering without your having to constantly cajole it into a state of relaxation. Even walking can induce this relaxation, working your muscles while tiring you out and calming you down.

* Eating too close to bedtime - this is something our grandmothers told us would give us nightmares and it's not only true, it's more than that -- it can keep you up for hours. After eating, the body needs time to digest and this process takes energy.

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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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