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How To Beat Insomnia

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Updated October 03, 2011

Sleep and mood are intimately related. Tips for beating insomnia and getting a good night's sleep in order to improve your depression.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: N /A

Here's How:

  1. Determine the number of hours you need to feel rested. Don't worry if you don't fit into the 'norm' of eight hours. A good guideline to start with is how many hours you sleep when you 'sleep in' on the weekends.
  2. Calculate a bedtime that will allow you to sleep this many hours and wake up at a reasonable hour.
  3. The first day, wake yourself at the time you would like to be your usual waking time, whether you are rested or not. You may need help from a friend, relative or alarm clock the first few days.
  4. Throughout the day, resist the urge for a nap.
  5. Limit your intake of caffeine and other stimulants and do not consume any of these after mid-afternoon. You will eventually find that you are getting enough rest and don't need an extra boost in the morning.
  6. A couple of hours before bedtime, begin to allow yourself to wind down. A regular evening ritual can help you relax and will signal your body that it's time to rest.
  7. If you feel tense, try the following: Kava Kava, Valerian, chamomile tea, soft music, scented candles, a hot bath or a massage.
  8. Avoid over the counter and prescription sleep meds and alcohol. Although you may fall asleep, your sleep will not be gentle and natural. You will feel groggy in the morning.
  9. If you are troubled by racing thoughts that just won't stop, get up and do something to keep yourself occupied until the thoughts subside.
  10. If you just can't sleep, don't lie in the bed and toss and turn. Get up and do something until you are tired enough to sleep.
  11. Get up at your predetermined time, no matter how tired you may feel.
  12. Repeat the above steps until you are able to fall asleep on time and wake up rested. This will generally take 2-3 days.

Tips:

  1. Don't despair if you have to go sleepy for a couple of days to get back on track. For most people, these steps will work if followed faithfully. If not, consult an expert for further assistance.
  2. Keep a regular schedule, even on weekends. If you do, every day will feel as glorious as 'sleeping in' on the weekends.
  3. Melatonin is a supplement which may be helpful in resetting your body clock and allowing you to fall asleep naturally.
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  7. How to Beat Insomnia and Get a Good Night's Sleep

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