5 Easy Self-Help Sleeping Strategies

sleeping strategies

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Here’s another set of self-help sleeping strategies. The first five-set can be found on this link.

But before we proceed , let us take a look at the ugly truth of sleeping pills and why there is a need to stop any chemical supplements just as you could sleep.

pills_avoid reliance on sleeping aids

Ending the Reliance on Sleeping Aids

There are many sleeping aids accessible in the market probably because people tend to have so much trouble sleeping.

A lack of sleep has a variety of reasons that could be work-related stress and insomnia.

There are other reasons, as some people have speculated; anything and everything can be interpreted as a cause for lack of sleep.

Of course, the occurrence of this problem is fueling the steady market for sleeping aids.

However, with a market that is near the saturation point, just what are the chances that the sleeping aids being sold are actually safe to use?

A lack of sleep can be the problem itself, or the symptom of a larger, more expensive problem.

Insomnia is just as likely to be an outcrop of depression as it is a symptom of other, more dangerous mood and behavioral disorders.

Ideally, people who have trouble sleeping should see a medical professional to be properly assessed.

The need to know if their problem is really just a lack of sleep or if there’s something else beneath the surface.

The availability and popular consumption of various medications have produced what others call the “pill culture.”

People are becoming increasingly willing to turn to a convenient pill to solve an obvious problem without seeing a professional to check if there are other problems.

Everything from pain medication, muscle relaxants, and sleeping aids can end up as part of this problem.

Recently, a new perspective on sleep disorders was put forth by a team of researchers led by Dr. Jesse Milby from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Milby considers sleeping problems as a lack of “sleep hygiene.” According to a research project he and his colleagues from UAB conducted, there are several things people routinely do that contribute to the development of the sleeping problem.

His data showed that using the bed for nothing more than sleep and sexual activity helped improve people’s sleep cycles and reduced the severity of their insomnia, even without medication.

That means no reading, no “hard” conversations, no doing taxes, or any other activities people might be inclined to do in bed.

The problem, he noted, was that the process often took longer than the average person was comfortable with.

With more and more people turning to medication to get a quick fix for their sleep problems, Milby believes society is risking making their sleeping problems much worse.

The problem, UAB internist and palliative medicine specialist Rodney Tucker noted, was that people who could not deal with the stress of daily life were seen as “needing a pill.”

There is a prevalent belief that everyone can deal with all the problems being thrown at them when this is simply not the case.

The perception that taking a pill can fix their problems, along with the unwillingness to let go of established personal routines and invest time in personal therapy, has caused more and more people to become dependent on sleeping aids.

It allows them to avoid having to deal with the harsh reality of having a problem and the need to rectify the situation, which is likely to do more harm than good in the long-term.

sleeping strategies

5 Self-Help Sleep Techniques

Reducing Your Evening Stimulation

The best nighttime routine is one that leaves you feeling relaxed and ready to go to bed.

If you are experiencing trouble falling asleep, it may be beneficial to avoid external prompts or inducement for an hour or so before bedtime.

Stimulation, such as watching television, keeps your mind active and alert.  If you find it difficult to give up television before bed, try to select shows that are calming rather than aggressive, action-packed programs.

When reducing your evening stimulation to promote healthy sleep habits, try these tips:
  • Keep your bedroom television-free.  This will help your mind and body associate the bedroom with sleeping only.
  • Don’t exercise up to three hours prior to bedtime.  Remember that exercise wakes up your body, and unless the physical activity is done well before you plan to go to bed, it will work against you when trying to sleep.
  • Plan to unwind when returning home from being out. If you jump directly into bed, your mind and body might not have sufficient time to decompress and slip into your evening routine.
  • Try reading.  Non-technical reading might help make you tired.  Avoid work-related or overly complicated material.
  • Avoid falling asleep without turning off the light.  This will wake you up in the night and disturb your sleep cycles, as well as you bedtime routine.

The goal is to define the fine line between stimulation and relaxation when deciding how to unwind.

Being able to easily relax at night will be paramount to your success in falling asleep naturally.

Stay Away From Internal Stimulants

While there are many external stimulates in your environment, there are also stimulants that affect your body from the inside.

Impacting the way you feel, think, and relax, these products contain caffeine, sugar, and chemicals.

While you don’t need to completely remove these items from your diet, you do need to pay attention and be sure not to ingest them after dinnertime to avoid difficulty falling asleep.

Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine wakes up your body and mind by raising your heart rate.  Since it has this effect, it is considered a stimulant.

Coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate beverages contain caffeine.  Have your last caffeinated beverage at least 3-4 hours prior to bedtime to avoid having difficulty sleeping.


Chocolate has caffeine and sugar, both of which are stimulants that will keep you from having a restful night’s sleep. Do not have chocolate for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.


While alcoholic beverages might make you feel tired and help you fall asleep, the sleep is typically not restful.

For example, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night feeling dehydrated, then have trouble falling back to sleep.

As with any other medication that can become addictive, you do not want to create a nightly dependency on alcohol to fall asleep at night.


Tobacco contains nicotine which is a stimulant.

Your body’s nicotine dependency can cause your body to wake when the level of nicotine in your blood becomes low.

Try to not to smoke in the hours before bedtime.

Caffeine in Common Beverages and Drugs
Brewed coffee, drip method, 5 oz cup 60-180 mg caffeine
Instant coffee, 5 oz. cup 30-120 mg caffeine
Decaffeinated coffee, 5 oz. cup 1-5 mg caffeine
Brewed tea, 5 oz. cup 60-180 mg caffeine
Instant tea, 5 oz. cup 25-50 mg caffeine
Iced Tea, 12 oz. cup 67-76 mg caffeine
Cola, 12 oz. cup 36-47 mg caffeine
Dark/semisweet, 1 oz. 5-35 mg caffeine
Non-prescription Drugs
Dexatrim 200 mg caffeine
No Doz 100 mg caffeine
Excedrin 65 mg caffeine
 Your Diet Matters

Your diet impacts your ability to fall asleep and maintain sleep at night. By eating a healthy diet, low in processed foods, sugar, fat, and preservatives.

You may find that you can stop the cycle of insomnia and improve your overall health.

Consider these guidelines for a healthy sleep diet:
  • Follow the recommended daily guidelines for fruits and vegetables.
  • Increase the complex carbohydrates in your diet.
  • Eat protein that is low in fat, and consider meat substitutes like tofu or veggie burgers.
  • Avoid spicy and heavy foods.
  • If you need a snack before bed, make it low in fat and sugar.
  • Eat your last meal four or more hours before bedtime.
  • Try not to overeat at your nighttime meal because you might feel drowsy immediately after eating.  Alternatively, be sure to eat enough so that you are not ravenous at bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. A well-hydrated body won’t wake up in the night because of dehydration. Drink eight glasses, equivalent to 2 liters of water per day.

Watch yourself for food allergies that might be subtly causing you sleep disturbances.

Common food allergies that might affect your sleep patterns are wheat, dairy products, corn, and chocolate.

A well-balanced, wholesome diet will help you be a healthier person overall.  General health is a huge factor in your ability to fall asleep naturally.

If your daily intake of food is healthy, your body and mind will be healthy and well-nourished, helping you sleep deeply without waking in the night.

sleeping technique

Get Rid of Anxiety and Worry

Are you someone whose mind is filled with thoughts of your family, your finances, your job and the future, when you are trying to fall asleep?

Do you find it hard to stop thinking and /or worrying about things long enough to drift off?

If your mind is busy at bedtime, it can lead to constant tossing and turning and insomnia.

If you worry about situations in life, there are a few techniques you can use to help put the worry out of your mind and fall asleep.

First, realize that now is the time to sleep, and the situations and events that are causing you stress will be there tomorrow.

Try making a “Worry Notebook.”  In a notebook designated for this purpose, create a list of what’s causing you stress and anxiety before you go to bed. Then go through the list and identify which items can be dealt with tomorrow.

The list of items on your list for tomorrow then becomes your to-do list for the next day.  This will help you feel more in control and positive about the situation.

In a separate section of your notebook, create a list of things that you worry about but are out of your control. Reconfirm to yourself that you have no power to change these things.

When you have finished your lists, put away the notebook and remind yourself that you have put these things out of your mind, and onto paper, and will not think about them again until tomorrow.

If you find yourself thinking about these stressors during the night, firmly remind yourself that you have put away the notebook until the morning and now is sleep time.

Another idea for getting rid of your worry and anxiety is to write in a diary daily. Along with a record of your day, be sure to include what bothers you and causes you stress.

The main point of this exercise is to put your feelings on paper, thus releasing you from thinking and worrying about them at night.

For both of these techniques, the act of writing down your anxiety and worry gives you permission to rest at night and handle your feelings the next day.

Yoga and soft music or relaxing sounds may help to clear your mind. Consider trying light reading to keep your mind off worrisome thoughts.

If you teach your mind to relax, you will find it easier to achieve a night of restful sleep.

Bath Time

A soothing warm bath an hour or so before bedtime will relax you and help you feel sleepy.

Do not try to go to sleep immediately following the bath because warm water has a stimulating effect on your body by raising your body temperature.

After the bath, you will probably find yourself getting drowsy as your body temperature returns to normal.

How does a warm bath help you sleep better? 

The warm water will relax your major muscle groups, help your circulatory system, and raise your body temperature.

When your core temperature returns to normal about an hour after the bath, you’ll still feel relaxed and comfortable and your body will be ready for sleep.

Creating a peaceful bath time experience is easy and enjoyable. To make a soothing bath environment, light candles and use dim lighting in the bathroom.

Experiment with scented oils or incense. Put on some light, tranquil music, and enjoy the mellow environment.

Another way to make your bath special is to add herbs to the water.  Make a blended herb take advantage of the herb’s relaxing qualities.

Put the sachet in the tub when it’s filling, and hold it under the hot water while it steeps.  Unwind in the tub while enjoying the herbal scents.  A few comforting herbs to try are lavender, chamomile, mint, passion flower, and lime flower.

There are many aromatic oils on the market that are created to induce relaxation.  About  4-5 drops of the essential oil are added to the bath after the tub is filled.

When deciding on an essential oil to use, try rose, chamomile, lavender, hops, ylang-ylang, vetiver, or neroli for a calming bath.

Bath powder is the third choice of enhancements that can be added to your bath.

This recipe for bath powder should be added to the water while you are filling the tub.

Milk & Honey Bath Powder

You will need:

½ cup honey

3 cups powdered milk

Lavender buds

You have to:

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.

Add several tablespoons of the milk bath to warm water in the tub.

Store any remaining mixture in a sealed container.

Bath time is a great way to encourage relaxation and drowsiness. Experiment with various herbs and oils to find the ones that work best for you.



5 Self-Help Sleeping Techniques

  1. Reducing Your Evening Stimulation
    The goal is to define the fine line between stimulation and relaxation when deciding how to unwind.
  2. Stay Away from Internal Stimulants
    Caffeinated Beverages
  3. Your Diet Matters
    Eat a healthy diet, low in processed foods, sugar, fat, and preservatives.
  4. Get Rid of Anxiety and Worry
  5. Bath Time
    A soothing warm bath an hour or so before bedtime will relax you and help you feel sleepy.


– Are you having some difficulty sleeping at night?

– What are your measures for you to be able to sleep well?

– What sleeping strategies work best for you?

– What other effective sleeping strategies that you know?




5 Self-Help Techniques To Sleep Well

self-help techniques to sleep well

for download_prcvir


Are you having a hard time to sleep? Here are five self-help sleeping techniques that you can try.

These are color therapy, physical activity, relaxation through meditation, simple respiration through breathing and relaxing and of course through music and sound.

Color Therapy

Using color therapy, or “chromotherapy”, is a unique way to treat a variety of ailments, including, but not limited to, sleep problems.

Chromatherapy involves being exposed to color in various ways.  Being shown colored lights, visualizing and meditating on a color, being massaged with colored oils, and wearing specific colors can help treat both physically and emotionally caused sleep problems.

Chromatherapy has a long history.  Ancient Indian beliefs practiced chromotherapy in Ayurvedic medicine, where it was believed that colors corresponded to parts of the body, emotions and spiritual aspects of life.

They believed that each of the chakras, areas of energy in the body, linked to a color.

Ancient Egyptians used chromotherapy by breaking up the sunlight with specially created lenses.  They built solariums where they practiced chromotherapy.

Chromatherapy, as we know it was developed in the late 1600’s when scientist Sir Isaac Newton proved that light is a mixture of color from the full range of color we can see.

color therapy

Modern-day color therapy came about when Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt penned his Principles of Light and Color.  In this publication he outlined how color therapy could be used to treat a variety of maladies, include sleep difficulties.

The 1940’s were a time of experimentation with color therapy.  During this time, Russian scientist S.V. Krakov experimented with chromotherapy and determined that when he separated light spectrum’s wavelengths it had an impact on the nervous system.

For example, he found that red light increased blood pressure and impacted the adrenal glands.  White light and blue light were found to be relaxing.  This groundbreaking information is still used today by color therapy practitioners.

How does it color therapy work?

Color is a part of what makes up light, and light has many different energy waves.  When light enters the retina of the eye, it touches the photoreceptor cells in the eye.

The photoreceptors turn the light into electrical impulses, which signal the brain to release hormones.

By controlling the release of hormones, chromotherapy can be used to treat insomnia and other sleep-related difficulties.

In a time when alternative medicine is becoming more popular, Chromatherapy is actively being used by the medical community to treat disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Some types of color therapy should only be practiced by trained professionals.  However, there are color therapy techniques that can be practiced safely at home.

To try chromotherapy on your own, follow these tips.  Select hues to wear based on your recommended color. When eating, choose foods that are a particular color. Spend time visualizing a recommended color.

Be aware of the following potential concerns:

  • Never replace traditional care with chromotherapy for severe insomnia.
  • Epileptics should avoid looking directly at any type of flashing lights.
  • When using colored lights, do not look directly into the light.  Receive colored light therapy indirectly by looking at an object that is lit by the colored light.
  • If you are on prescription medication, check the label for a light sensitivity side effect.  Exposure to bright light might cause a problem.

physical activities

Physical Activity

Getting exercise during the day is an important factor in how well you sleep at night. If you are physically active during the day, your body will be able to relax and fall asleep easier.

Exercise helps your body deal with daily stress and anxiety.

It impacts the chemicals in your brain, and how much you exercise is directly linked to your physical and emotional health.

Regular exercise will help you fall asleep and maintain a sleep state because your sleep cycles become more consistent and the transition between them becomes more seamless.  Try to work exercise into your life daily to avoid sleeplessness.

When getting physical activity, plan to exercise more than 3-4 hours before bedtime. For the best sleep benefit, be physically active in the late afternoon or early evening.

Try to be physically active for at least 20-30 minutes a day, 3-4 times per week. 

Aerobic activities usually work best to remedy insomnia, and activities can range from an easy walk to a rigorous run.

By making your heart rate go up, improving your lung capacity, and adding oxygen into your blood, your body will be in better health and you’ll be on your way to naturally correcting your sleep problem.

In addition to aerobic exercise, there are other types of physical activity you can do to fight sleeplessness. Consider yoga or Tai Chi.  Yoga affects the brain and core muscles and improves blood circulation.

Using yogic breathing techniques will help you relax and live with less stress. 

Tai Chi incorporates breathing with body movements in a slow-moving style that is perfect for individuals with joint pain or other issues that keep you from high-impact exercise.

If adding 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule is too tough, try adding small blocks of physical activity.

Making small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or purposely parking further away from your destination will help you live a healthy, energetic life.


Relaxation through Meditation

It only stands to reason that the more relaxed you are the more likely you are to fall asleep and maintain a satisfactory sleep state.

It’s essential to quiet your mind in order to fall asleep quickly. By using meditation you can stop thinking, worrying, or whatever else is going through your head.

There are several different meditation and visualization methods that will help you relax.  Try one of these meditation styles:

1. Focal point method

Select a focal point, whether it is a mantra, visual point, or even your own breathing. A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated either in your mind or out loud to help you focus on meditating.

The use of a mantra or other focal point will help keep you on track and keep your mind from wandering.

You need to be disciplined to practice this method of meditation because thoughts will come into your head and you will be tempted to think about other things. This method will become easier the more you practice it.

2. Breathing-focused meditation

Find a comfortable, quiet space and sit on the floor, using a cushion if so desired. Sitting with your hands in your lap, calm your body and close your eyes.

Breathe in and out through your nose.  Make an effort to concentrate on your breathing, counting each breath in and out until you reach ten.

Continue counting in groups of ten until you begin to feel relaxed.  Empty your mind of everything and concentrate only on counting as you inhale and exhale.

If thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge that they are there and let them go, again focusing on your breath.  When you have finished meditating, become aware of your body once more and stretch before getting up.

3. Guided imagery  

This method combines visualization with meditation and hypnosis.  This type of meditation is guided, and you are led to visualize relaxation, which helps you feel relaxed.

Find a place that is quiet and dimly lit.  Using an MP3 player, play a pre-recorded imagery recording.  Guided imagery usually starts with deep breathing and other deep breathing exercises.

When you relax, your imagination comes alive and the recording will guide you through a variety of scenes, using your imagination to help you find peacefulness and relaxation.

Common guided imagery scenarios include beachside strolls, mountain hikes, or nature walks through the forest.  At the end of your guided imagery session, you should feel calm and relaxed.

The aforementioned meditation methods are only a sampling of the wide array of choices available.  Experiment with these, and research others, to find one that helps you fight insomnia.

Simple Respiration: Breathing and Relaxing

Breathing is the simplest and easiest way to find complete relaxation and stress reduction.  The more deeply you breathe, the more serene you will become.

These relaxation tips will help your body wind down and get ready for sleep.

When you first get into bed:

Lie down and breathe deeply through your nose.  Imagine the air moving into your stomach.  On your next inhale, breathe in for four counts.  Exhale slowly through your pursed lips, while counting to eight.

You will feel the tension leave your body with every exhale. Repeat this technique six to ten times for immediate relaxation. Practice deep breathing daily to develop a healthy habit of regular relaxation.  Calming your mind will help you fall asleep.

Before going to bed try this relaxation technique:

Lie down with your back to the floor and your arms at your side, palms facing upward.  Your feet should be comfortably apart. With your eyes closed, mentally concentrate on each part of your body, tensing then releasing each group of muscles.

Starting at the top of your head, release tension as you move slowly down your body.  Feel your forehead, eyes and mouth.

Work through your shoulders, neck, and back. Move down to your toes, then bask in the relaxed state you have achieved.  Focus on your breathing, making sure breath is coming from your stomach.

Breathe deeply and slowly, letting go of all your concerns and stress.  When your body knows it’s okay to let go of your worries and stressors, you’ll be able to go to sleep naturally.

There are many other techniques for breathing and relaxation.  Through your own experimentation and practice, you can find one that works well for you.

music induction

Music and Sounds for Sleep Induction

Using noise as a tool to help fall asleep has been done since the beginning of time.  The earliest form of this technique is the lullaby, which has successful soothed even the most colicky baby.

There are many iPod, mp3 players and sound devices on the market today that is designed to have the same effect as a mother singing or humming a child to sleep.

Here are a few suggestions:

arrow1Relaxing classical music files are a wonderful way to relax and put your mind at ease.

Look for “Baroque Music” by Mozart, “Lullaby” by Brahms, and “Waltzes” by Strauss.  This is only a small sampling of the many, selections available.

arrow1Try something soothing and modern.

Ambient Electronica, which is also called “downtempo” and “chillout”, is a great way to unwind.

Gently mixing an ongoing techno-style beat, a taste of house-style music for irregular progressions, and unique rhythms, Ambient Electronica has soft melodies and calming sound effects.

A few good choices to try are Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, The Orb, and Future Sound of London.

arrow1When trying New Age or Tribal music there are many recordings to choose from.

The sound of this style is similar to Ambient Electronica, but unique non-electronic instruments like the harpsichord, chimes, bells, and didgeridoos are used.

The beat is often similar to that of a drum circle and sometimes involves guttural throat sounds and chants.

arrow1If you’d prefer to stay away from music, there is always non-musical sound effect sound devices.

These often feature babbling brooks, waves, rain, whale songs, waterfalls, and other sounds found in nature.

If you are a city dweller that is having trouble sleeping because it is too quiet, there are recordings of city noises such as fire engines, traffic, and airplanes just for you.

arrow1Sound machines are widely available and can be found at many different price points.

Usually about the size of an alarm clock, they typically come with a selection of sounds to pick from.  You can select how the recordings play, either as an ongoing loop or for a preset length of time.

You can select how the recordings play, either as an ongoing loop or for a preset length of time.  Some sound machines are even built into alarm clocks, and can be used to gently awaken you.  When deciding which style of

When deciding which style of unit to purchase, keep in mind that the units that play synthesized sounds are best because they most closely imitate the natural sound.  The second choice is a sound device that only plays recorded samples.

The style of music that works best depends entirely on the individual. 

Some people respond better to non-linear music, while others find it easier to drift off to sleep with soothing percussion in the background.

Some prefer random beats and tempo, others like a constant pattern of music. Try several different types to find the style that you prefer.

An interesting note, music’s relationship with sleep is the current focus of a study conducted by the University of Toronto’s psychiatry department and Toronto Western Hospital.  In their sleep clinic, they are investigating “brain music”.

Brain music is EEG readings, converted to music via a computer program designed to compose customized music based on the EEG readings.  Each sleeper’s brain waves are watched and studied.

The scientists determine which rhythmic and tonal sounds the individual is most responsive to and they input it into a computer.

A computer program is used to develop a personalized “soundtrack” of music that will invoke the same brain wave patterns when the person is trying to fall asleep later.

There is evidence that shows this personalized method of music therapy is highly effective.

Obviously, researchers are very interested in pursuing this method of relaxation since it is typically effective and does not involve possibly habit-forming medication.



5 Self-Help Sleeping Techniques

  • Color Therapy
  • Physical Activity
  • Relaxation Through Meditation
  • Simple Respiration: Breathing and Relaxing
  • Music and Sounds for Sleep Induction


– Are you having some difficulty sleeping at night?

– What are your measures for you to be able to sleep well?

– What sleeping techniques work best for you?

– What other relaxation strategies have you tried?