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Help me sleep! A 4-point plan

September 17, 2012

Insomnia, or lack of ability to sleep, is like a runaway cart down a hill.  It gathers momentum until there’s an inevitable crash at the bottom.  Your ability to function during waking hours will diminish.  You may be quick to anger, find it hard to concentrate – or, ironically, feel drowsy during the day.

Here’s four things you can try to help your brain switch off along with the lights:

  1. Stick to a regular sleeping pattern: set yourself a time for going to bed and a time for waking, and keep to it. Don’t nap during the day. This will help to set your natural body clock.
  2. Relax in the hour before bedtime: your brain needs time to wind down.  Try reading a book, going for a walk, listening to music or practicing breathing techniques.  Careful about TV and computers – the artificial light from the screen can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
  3. Avoid caffeine after 4pm: this means tea, coffee, and energy drinks like V or Red Bull.  It stimulates your central nervous system and can disrupt your natural rhythms, especially if taken too close to bedtime.
  4. Try warm milk or chamomile tea: both contain chemical properties that can aid you in getting off to sleep.

Different techniques will work for different people, and if your sleep problem is more deep-seated, then you may need more intensive help.

Sleep problems can be caused by a number of issues, but are often a result of underlying stress, anxiety or depression.  Techniques for better sleep may help you treat the symptoms, but for more lasting peace of mind you need to look at the problem.

Call Life Resolutions today on 1300 668 256 to find out how our qualified psychologists can help you or a loved one with insomnia, or use the email contact form on our website.

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