Home >> Content >> How Can I Avoid Insomnia?
Insomnia (Sleepless Nights)

How Can I Avoid Insomnia?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 10:14

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Prevention of sleeplessness is very much dependent on your ability to relax and learn techniques for sleeping well.

How-To Information:

Here are some tips to help improve your sleep:

  • Learn to use physical and mental relaxation techniques.
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule. This involves setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time and making every attempt to stick to it, including on the weekends. This will help to set the body's clock in a way that will make nighttime sleep deeper and more consistent.
  • Avoid taking naps, especially in the afternoon.
  • Exercise regularly during the day.
  • Use the bed only for sleep and sex, not reading or watching television.
  • If you do not fall asleep fairly quickly, get out of bed. Do not return until you are feeling drowsy.
  • Try to reduce stress in your life, or find better ways to cope with stress.

    For more detailed information about coping with stress, go to Stress And How To Manage It.

  • If it is noisy in your bedroom, introduce some form of "white noise" such as a rotating fan.
  • Do not over-focus on falling asleep by watching the clock.
  • Create a bedroom environment that is quiet, relaxing and peaceful.
  • Set up a regular bedtime routine that revolves around an activity that helps you unwind.
  • Avoid caffeine, and other stimulants, especially late in the day.
  • Eliminate smoking. It has a detrimental effect on the lungs, heart, sinuses, and circulation, and it also interferes significantly with sleep, as nicotine is a stimulant that prevents the brain from resting. Cutting back on cigarette smoking may lead to nicotine withdrawal in the middle of the night, which can awaken you, so it is important to stop smoking completely.

    For more detailed information about how to quit smoking, go to Smoking: How To Stop.

  • Avoid alcohol. Even if it helps you fall asleep quicker, it actually worsens insomnia by causing shallow, unrefreshing sleep.

This article continues: