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Can't Sleep? Try These 8 Tips to Help You Beat Insomnia

tips on how to beat insomnia


Do you have a lot of trouble getting to sleep? If you do, you’ve got LOTS of company!

 It’s estimated that between 30 – 40% of adults have this issue within a year’s time, and 10 – 15% have chronic insomnia, meaning having it for more than a month at a time. Having it for a month would in itself be really depressing!
I’ve had trouble falling asleep sometimes. It’s usually because I’ve got a lot on my mind and am trying to figure out ways to work things out.

Or, I’m just being stupid and staying up late working on a project. Or even on occasion, I’ve stayed up late watching tv. Horrors!

On those nights, about the time I get REALLY tired, I notice two things: it’s harder to remember what I was thinking just a moment before, and a physical feeling of my heart working harder.
THAT worried me because of my past with high blood pressure, so my next step was looking up the effects of lack of sleep on high blood pressure.


Well, guys. Getting those 7 – 8 hours of zzzz’s seems to be the optimal amount of sleep. 
Studies show that people who went down to 5 hours or less OR went up from 7-8 hours of sleep a night to more than 9 hours a night had a higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease (heart attack or stroke).

So there’s that saying that old moderation is the best scenario.


So what do you do when you can’t sleep? There are several things to try. These first things I’m mentioning you may have already heard of or tried, but I’m including them just in case some of you don’t know about them.
  • sleep habitsCheck the temperature in your home. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold for you. Around 65 degrees is considered good. Personally, I like it cool so I can wrap myself in a cozy blanket.

  • Get on a consistent time for going to bed. This gets your body into a rhythm. Ever wake up right before the alarm? That’s the same type of thing.

  • Make sure it’s dark in your room with no outside lights, tv or electronic gadgetry lighting.  If you have lights shining through, try a sleep mask.
  • Cut out the caffeine (even the soda variety) by 2 pm. Believe it or not, the caffeine stays with you for 8 – 10 hours and can make a difference.
  • Also, set a time limit on alcohol for several hours before bedtime. While alcohol may help you get to sleep, your quality of sleep won’t be as good and you could wake up tired.

  • If you don’t spend much time outside, get out during the day to help your body regulate melatonin. If you are stuck in an office during the day, try taking a walk with a co-worker at lunchtime.

  • Set an alarm clock for an hour before bedtime so you can start getting ready for bed. Turn off the tv and/or the computer. The lights from them work with your brain and may keep you awake.
  • Take a warm bath or shower, set things out for the next day, write in your journal, and maybe read a book for a while. Doing this regularly just gets your body used to "going to sleep" mode.

  • When the alarm goes off to get ready for bed, have some food with tryptophan and carbs in it, such as a banana, or low-fat milk. I’ve had good luck with having a banana and feeling a wave of tiredness an hour later.
While turkey, other poultry and seafood has tryptophan in it, studies show that having tryptophan with carbs actually triggers the serotonin to start working to produce the melatonin in your brain more than having the protein with tryptophan. It all takes about 60-90 minutes to work its way to the brain, which is why you should have that food an hour or more before beddy-bye.