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Welcome to my series of articles on how to overcome insomnia and sleep better without drugs.

How to Sleep Better

15 Tips to Fall Asleep Fast and Sleep All Night


(Copyright © - Do Not Copy - Please link to my articles instead.)

<a href="http://www.how-to-self.com/sleep/">How to Sleep Better</a>

Have you fallen into a pattern of sleeping poorly? Are you concerned that you may not sleep well tonight? Getting a good night sleep is very important to your physical and emotional health, but falling asleep easily and sleeping well are surprisingly complex and subject to being interrupted by a wide range of factors.

Sometimes insomnia is a result or a symptom of a serious medical condition. As one example, sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, is a very serious condition. If your insomnia is severe, or is associated with other symptoms, please see a physician. The tips and suggestions that follow are not medical advice and are not intended for anyone in ill health.

Here are a number of simple actions and choices you can make right now to help you sleep better TONIGHT. There are also a number of additional tips for better sleep that require longer preparation and are covered in another article How to Overcome Frequent Insomnia.

1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. If you want coffee in the afternoon or evening, make it decaffeinated. An alcoholic drink, especially more than one, will not help you sleep better. A drink may, or may not, help you fall asleep, but alcohol causes you to sleep poorly and be unable to sleep all night. Cigarettes are always an unhealthy habit, but especially in the evening.

2. Avoid spicy foods. Indigestion prevents good sleep.

3. Don't overeat, but don't go to bed hungry. If you aren't allergic to milk, try a small glass of warm milk or a piece of mild cheese in the evening. A small piece of chicken or other protein may also work well before bed.

4. Drink enough water early in the day to hydrate well, which can help you avoid nighttime leg cramps and is generally good for your health. However, avoid water and other fluids for the last two hours before bedtime to reduce your need to go to the bathroom during the night.

5. Avoid taking a nap longer than 15 minutes during the day.

6. Get your regular daily exercise earlier in the day - take a long walk in a natural setting if you possibly can - and be quiet the last couple of hours before bedtime.

7. Spend the two hours before bedtime quietly, without stimulation or stress. Read calming inspirational books or listen to soothing music. Avoid adventure books, stimulating or upsetting conversation, and especially do not watch any kind of television show before bed.

8. To help you relax, take a hot bath, practice meditation or conscious breathing, do gentle Yoga, Qigong, or progressive muscle relaxation.

9. If you have aches and pains, massage the painful places - possibly with a pain-relieving gel - or better yet, ask your partner to massage you.

10. Repeat positive affirmations to replace worries about not sleeping with positive thoughts.

11. Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Consider using a sleep mask (eyeshade) if you can't make your bedroom dark enough.

12. Make your bedroom as quiet as you can. If you have a clock that ticks loudly, replace it. Consider using earplugs if your bedroom is noisy. Or experiment with other alternatives... Some people find that the white noise from a fan, as well as the air flow, helps them sleep better. Others find soft music or natural sounds like waves or bird songs to be relaxing and induce sleep. If you use music to help you fall asleep, you may find that you get better rest later in the night if you set the music to turn off after an hour.

13. Find the most comfortable temperature for sleep. Generally a room temperature slightly cooler than during the day, combined with a light cover, is most conducive to good sleep. However, some people find a colder room and heavier bedcovers work better. Others prefer a warmer room and no covers. Experiment to find the combination that works best for you. Make sure your feet are warm. If your feet tend to be cold at night, consider wearing socks to bed - making sure that they are not too tight around your ankles. Try a hot water bottle if your feet are cold when you first go to bed.

14. Experiment with different sleeping positions, and match the height of your pillow to the position you choose. For sleeping on your back or stomach, choose a thin pillow. For side sleeping, a medium height pillow is best. Try sleeping on your right side if that is not already your preferred position. Resting your top leg on an extra pillow may increase your comfort.

15. If you can't fall asleep in 15 minutes, try counting your breaths as you breathe deeply and slowly. If you are still awake after counting to two hundred, go to another room and do something relaxing, such as reading an inspiring book, until you feel sleepier.

Read my other articles on sleep, How to Overcome Frequent Insomnia, and How to Fall Asleep Fast.

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Jonathan Lockwood Huie
"The Philosopher of Happiness" - is the author of 100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love, co-author of Simply An Inspired Life, speaker, personal coach, and creator of the popular Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote free email and Regaining Your Happiness in Seven Weeks e-training program.

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