Whether the reason is anxiety, depression, pain, or some other factor, millions of people experience
some form of insomnia. Even something as simple as changing the clocks for daylight-saving time
can interfere with sleep patterns. It can make you fall short of the eight hours necessary to be
creative and energetic-and to keep your immune system functioning properly.
Why do you need at least seven to eight hours of sleep?
R.E.M (rapid eye movement) sleep takes place throughout the night, it occurs for the longest periods
at the end of the sleep cycle. It is due to the brain recharge its stock of neurotransmitters, such as
noradrenaline and serotonin, these are vital for new learning and holding as well as for mood when
we get proper sleep.
If you are sleepless then, give a try to these simple steps for a sweet sleep:
Before Bedtime: It’s important to establish a sleep, routine and stick to it. Choose a proper bedtime
and start it with a hot bath, put a few drops of lavender oil into the water. Avoid stressful evening
news or violent movies and listen to soothing music. Don’t turn on the lights, If you have to get up
during the night. Doing so throws off your internal clock. And do not try to sleep with cold feet.
Avoid Stimulants: Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, as well as foods that are spicy or high
in fat or salt, particularly in the afternoon and evening. Do not consume tobacco and cold
medication. Stick with foods rich in nutrients, but don’t eat anything for at least two hours before
bedtime unless you need a protein snack to deal with a low blood-sugar problem.
Sleepy Time Snacks: There’s a reason everyone wants to take a nap after a big meal. Food rich in
protein is loaded with the amino acid tryptophan that manufactures serotonin, which is crucial for
Tryptophan is abundant in poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, bananas, figs, pineapples, nut butter, tuna, and
whole-grain crackers-all good foods to eat in the evening.
Consider Vitamins: In addition to consuming foods that contain tryptophan, increase your intake of
edibles high in vitamin B complex (nutritional yeast, egg yolks, fish, wheat germ, legumes, and whole
grains) and vitamin C. These vitamins help in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, so a good B
complex supplement along with at least 200 mg of vitamin C is sleep insurance. A
calcium/magnesium supplement can also be effective for relaxing tense muscles.
Helpful Herbs: A cup of German chamomile tea is a soothing way to end the day. Used for more than
1,000 years, valerian (Valerian officinalis) has a tranquilizing effect, induces sleep, and improves
sleep quality. Passionflower is also mildly sedating.
Kava (Piper methectic) relieves underlying causes of insomnia: anxiety, restlessness, and stress. Do
not consume kava for three months at least. More importantly, anyone who has a liver problem
should not take kava. Also, the person who takes medication that has an adverse effect on the liver,
or consumes alcohol regularly.
Expend Energy: Besides toning your body, exercise is good for your mind. A short run, a long walk, a
slight workout at the gym-they all produce endorphins, which help to decrease depression and
improve sleep. But observe the two-hour rule by stopping physical activity at least two hours before
Stress Busters: Take time to smell the flowers. Go for a stroll, meditate, read a poem, fly a kite, listen
to music. Relax-you’ve earned it. You’ll be just an inch away from sweet dreams.
Shift Work: If you’re one of the millions of people who don’t work a typical 9-to-5 business day,
you’re most likely fighting your natural sleep-wake pattern. Shift workers in hospitals, on police
forces, and in manufacturing and transportation jobs are working all night while the rest of the world
is sleeping. Then they go to sleep while daylight hours when everyone else is awake.
The human body works on a 24-hour cycle of waking and sleeping, its cues from nature’s cycle of
light and darkness. Since sleepiness overcomes most of us during midnight and 6 a.m., people who
are working or on job during those have difficulty falling asleep once they do get home.
The following tips may help prepare you for sleep:
-Wear wraparound sunglasses if you drive home in daylight.
- Ask others not to perform noisy household chores like vacuuming or running the dishwasher.
- Unplug the telephone.
- Darken the bedroom with curtains or shades and install carpeting to absorb sound.
- Wear earplugs.
-Turn on a fan or some other white noise to block sound.
Stick to your sleeping plan and pattern, even on weekends.