Sleep Problems: Part 1

If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may want to make some simple adjustments before turning to sleeping pills.

If your problem is falling asleep, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  1. Am I tired? If your daily living does not include some physical exercise, your body may simply not be ready for sleep. You may want to add a little “constitutional” walk to use your muscles.
  2. Am I relaxed? Worrying about every little thing makes falling asleep more difficult. You may want to “relax” your mind by exercising it! Reading, gaming or some enjoyable mental activity in the early evening can help this.
  3. What’s my diet? Too much caffeine is a major culprit with sleep problems. Alcohol (a beer or one glass of wine) can help, but too much can aggravate sleep problems. Turkey, warm milk and red wine contain tyrosine, a natural substance that enhances sleep.
  4. What’s my environment? Are you trying to sleep with a lot of outside stimulation (noise, lights, TV/radio)?
  5. Are some of the medicines I’m already taking causing my sleep problems? Ask your doctor about that.

If you’ve done everything you can think of, and still have trouble falling asleep, you may consider natural products such as melitonin or more “mental and physical” relaxation techniques.