5 tips for beating insomnia
Getting a good night’s rest is what everyone is after when they curl into bed each evening. Below are five tips for beating insomnia from Melissa Leedy of Legacy Counseling Service.
Have a consistent sleep and wake time seven days a week.
“This is really important for setting your circadian rhythms and training the body to know where it’s at in terms of the 24-hour clock and to have some predictability for the body,” Leedy says.
Get out of bed if you don’t fall asleep within 10 to 15 minutes.
Do something that is not very stimulating — perhaps even something you think is kind of boring. For example, you might watch a TV show you’re not really into or sort junk mail or magazines.
If you need to take a nap during the day, do it before 2 p.m. and only allow yourself to nap for 30 minutes.
“That’s because you need to have enough time during the day ... to use up that extra energy that you’re giving your body through a nap,” Leedy says. “So if you think of your body and sleep as a gas tank, you only have so much gas your body can use. If you wake up with a full tank of gas and then take a one- to two-hour nap at 3 or 4 p.m., you just put $5 worth of gas in your gas tank but you don’t have enough time to use up that gas.”
Use the bed for sleep and sex only.
“We want to train the body that, when you’re in bed, this is automatically a place for rest,” she says. “Even though sex is a stimulating activity, obviously, after sex it’s a restful time for the body.”
If you worry, set aside time earlier in the day to write down worries.
Schedule that writing time two to three hours before bedtime, so when you’re ready to go to bed your mind is worry-free, Leedy says.