Strategy #5: Herbal sedatives. Steep one teaspoon each of valerian root, scullcap, and catnip for 20 minutes. One cup of this tea will relax the body and calm the mind. Another good combination of herbs is chamomile, passion flower, and hops. These herbs are available in capsule form too, though drinking a warm tea of them has an additional relaxing effect.
Strategy #6: Don't count sheep, count on sheeps' wool. Wool blankets are better able to regulate skin and body temperature than synthetic blankets. This comfortable comforter may help you sleep better.
Strategy #7: Caffeine and other stimulants lurk in unsuspecting places. Avoid caffeinated products, including colas, aspirin, diet pills, black tea, and of course, coffee. Nicotine in cigarettes is also a stimulant which will keep you up at night.
Strategy #8: Warm milk rarely works. Despite folklore that has long suggested that warm milk helps people to sleep, research has shown that it is rarely helpful. In fact, non-fat and low-fat milk can actually stimulate the brain's activity.
Strategy #9: Avoid cat naps. Day naps should be avoided if you have problems with insomnia. Save your best forty winks for nighttime.
Strategy #10: Exercise earlier in the day and avoid it at night. A well-exercised body is less likely to experience insomnia, except when exercise is done within two hours of bedtime. Late-night aerobic activity can generate too much energy to fall asleep easily.
Strategy #11: Bedrooms are for sleeping. Avoid using your bedroom for stressful activities such as paying bills or doing work. Let your bedroom be a soothing, quiet, and relaxing place to be at all times.
Strategy #12: Create a sleep ritual. When it's time for sleep, close the shades, get into your special bed clothes, brush your teeth, turn off the lights, and fluff the pillow. Mentally scan your body and sense where you feel tension. Tighten this place and then relax it. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths. You may also want to make certain that you are getting adequate but not too much ventilation. Do whatever other activities make you feel comfortable, secure, and relaxed.
Strategy #13: Unmedicate yourself. Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including decongestents and aspirin, can disturb sleep. Talk with your doctor to see if you can reduce the dosage or change the prescription.
Strategy #14: Rest assured, sedatives disrupt sleep. Besides being addictive, sedatives disturb deep sleep, leading you to wake unrefreshed. Occasional use of sedatives may be worthwhile, but avoid regular use.
Strategy #15: Don't drink your sleep away. Alcohol may make you drowsy, but it disrupts sleep patterns and creates unrefreshing sleep.
Strategy #16: Try sex. While making love can be very energizing at times, it can also be extremely relaxing, thus helping to get the sandman's attention. (Don't try this if it causes anxiety instead.)
Strategy #17: Eight hours isn't necessary. Research has suggested that insomniacs actually need less sleep than others. Don't feel pressured to get a full eight hours every night; you may experience less anxiety about yourself and may be able to sleep better, even if you do sleep less.
Strategy #18: Coffee as a sedative? Homeopathic doses of coffee (Coffea) actually helps to relax the mind and body. Take Coffea 6 or 30 thirty minutes before bedtime and then again as you get into bed. This is particularly effective if you're physically as well as mentally restless.