9 Lifestyle Tricks to Avoid Insomnia

Sometimes, you just can’t fall asleep. It may be stress, caffeine, alcohol, foods — who knows? If insomnia happens to you on a semi-regular basis, try these tricks to encourage sweet slumber upon your eyelids.

Make a routine. By having a set bedtime routine, your body will start preparing for sleep on its own. A little bit of yoga or meditation, a cup of tea and reading, and lights out for bedtime. A routine like this — even if you can only spare 20 minutes — is a great way to encourage your body to prepare for bed. But don’t spend all your time in the bed when you’re not going to sleep. Reserve your bed for sleep alone — work and read somewhere else — and you’ll be more likely to snooze more quickly when you slip under the covers.

Stop smoking. A connection has been shown between smoking and insomnia, possibly because the body cannot attain nicotine during sleep. So, if you’re having difficulty falling asleep — and even if you’re not — it’s time to quit smoking. Alcohol can also reduce sleep quality, so don’t drink that nightcap too close to bedtime either.

Exercise earlier. Exercising too close to bedtime can actually keep you too amped up to fall asleep. Exercise about 3 hours before sleep, if not earlier, to ensure that your heart rate is able to drop, allowing you to relax.

Instead of a 4 o'clock latte, reach for an herbal tea. Peppermint tea can wake you up without adding caffeine in your system.

Instead of a 4 o’clock latte, try herbal tea. Peppermint tea can wake you up without adding caffeine to your system.

Watch the caffeine. Everyone is different, but for some people, consuming caffeine too late in the day can be hugely detrimental to your bedtime. If you’re in the habit of that 4 o’clock latte, try switching to green tea instead for a gentler caffeine boost — better yet, go for herbal.

Avoid large evening meals. Large meals late at night put your body’s efforts into digestion rather than sleep. Try eating any large meal 3 hours before hitting the sack to ensure it won’t interfere with your snooze time. If you must eat before bed, opt for light foods like salads or yogurt instead of heavy proteins or fried foods.

Dim the lights and turn off screens. About an hour or two before bedtime, dim the lights in your house and put away the electronic screens. The blue light emitted from these screens can actually prevent your body from creating essential hormones needed for sleep. If you must watch your favorite evening program, dim the screen brightness as much as possible to encourage the body to recognize that it is no longer daytime (there are also apps that can help filter out the blue light of your screens).

Seated forward bend can be relaxing and restorative. Gentle yoga before bedtime may help put your mind at ease before sleep.

Seated forward bend can be relaxing and restorative. Gentle yoga before bedtime may help put your mind at ease before sleep.

Keep it cool. The best sleeping temperature lies somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re too hot or too cold, sleep will naturally be a bit more elusive. Although your instinct may be to keep your bedroom really warm, your body naturally cools as you sleep, so keeping your room a touch cooler may help you sleep more deeply.

Write down your worries. If you find yourself stressing about your to-dos while lying wide awake in bed, try keeping a worry journal. Sometime every evening, write down everything you need to accomplish the next day, week, month — along with anything else that stresses you out. That way, your problems are on paper instead of swarming and cluttering your tired mind.

Try relaxation exercises in the evening. Gentle evening yoga can help to calm your mind and heart rate before bedtime. Or, you could try incremental relaxation, in which you take deep breaths and consciously relax each part of your body bit by bit, muscle by muscle. After scanning each body part, the entire body should feel heavy and thoroughly relaxed. No matter what method you choose, meditation and yoga are great ways to unwind bodily tension after a long day.

If you have chronic insomnia, see a doctor to get to the root cause of your issues. Otherwise, anyone can try these tricks to ensure a better night’s sleep. After all, good sleep is paramount to good health. What helps you get to sleep in the evenings?

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123 comments

Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

Thanks

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Lindi S
Lindi Smith1 years ago

Great tips!

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Jan S
Past Member 1 years ago

Thanks

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Anna R
Past Member 1 years ago

thank you for posting

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Janet B
Janet B1 years ago

Thanks

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Sonia M

Some good advices thanks for sharing

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Carl R
Carl R1 years ago

Thanks!!!

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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