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?




What Are The Benefits Of Sleeping And The Behavioral Changes To Achieve Them?

9_sleeping_behavioral changes

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Do you constantly have enough sleep? Let us find out first the benefits of sleeping and some behavioral changes related to it along with some sleeping facts and sleeping equipment.

Do you have some sleeping difficulty? Do you experience it once in a while? While this may be inconvenient, it’s often temporary.

When occasional sleepless nights turn into a regular occurrence of many nights in a row with interrupted sleep, you might have a sleeping problem.

When you don’t get enough sleep for an extended period of time your tiredness impacts every part of your life.

Physically, you might notice a decrease in your productivity and daily activities.

Emotionally, you may experience relationship problems or a change in your personality.

Mentally, a chronic sleep problem can create stress and anxiety.

There are three categories of sleep deprivation and insomnia.

The first stage, called “initial” insomnia, is when you first realize you’re having difficulty achieving a sleep state and occurs when it takes longer than a half an hour to fall asleep.

“Middle” insomnia is when you have difficulty staying asleep.  Once awakened, you stay awake until the wee hours of the morning.

The most severe level of insomnia is “late” or “terminal” insomnia.  This is when you wake up early in the morning and stay awake after sleeping less than 6 hours.

There are a variety of reasons that you may be having trouble sleeping.  If your insomnia is due to a medical condition, your doctor will be able to provide you with suggestions and appropriate medical attention.

On the other hand, if your sleep difficulties are occurring because you are stuck in a cycle of sleepless nights, or your insomnia is due to your inability to reach a state of inner peace needed to achieve sleep, this article is for you.

What’s So Good About Sleep Anyway?

Finding time to sleep in our busy schedules is extremely important for our health and wellbeing. Most people push the boundaries when it comes to sleep.

We restrict the time we allow for sleep, going to bed progressively later as we try to fit in the many different jobs that need completion each day. We underestimate the importance of sleep.

Without adequate sleep, our bodies will react, and those important schedules we put off sleep to achieve will be affected eventually.

It’s only recently that we have begun to fully understand just how much our body needs sleep to function properly.

Most of the body’s normal activities rely on us having a regular sleep and an interrupted sleep pattern is a significant stress on our bodies.

Our nervous system, our digestive system and the ability of our body to repair itself are all dependent on our sleep cycles being consistent and regular.

When we deprive our body of sleep, we inhibit our brain’s ability to make a decision. Our emotional responses to situations may be compromised, and even how we interact socially may be affected.

Sleep is as necessary for our health like eating and drinking. It has long been recognized that sleep deprivation is an effective torture tool.

Experiments using rats have revealed that their life expectancy is significantly reduced when they are sleep deprived under experimental conditions.

How much sleep a person needs is dependent on factors such as age and gender. Pregnant women. for example, may require more sleep than a non-pregnant woman of the same age group.

A child may require more sleep than an adult. However, an older adult generally requires less sleep than a younger adult.

The amount of sleep an individual need is fairly consistent with their age group. A typical adult will require approximately 7-9 hours of sleep a night to maintain optimum health and performance.

If we reduce that amount of sleep time over a series of nights, our body will eventually react and we need to make up that time, usually in what is termed as a “sleep in”.

However, even though we know we will sleep in on the weekend, our performance during the working week may be severely affected by our lack of sleep.

If we find ourselves excessively yawning during the day, or finding it difficult to remember simple details or make simple judgment calls correctly, it is possible we are suffering from sleep deprivation.

People take micro sleep where they lose consciousness for very short periods of time without realizing it, leading to potentially dangerous situations.

Many road deaths and incidents at work have been directly traced to insufficient sleep the night before. With so many serious side effects and consequences of not sleeping, we should all be ensuring we schedule adequate sleep into our daily lives.

benefits of sleeping

Behavioral Changes for Healthy Sleep Habits

Habits at Bedtime

It is essential that your brain has consistency by creating a bedtime schedule so that your body can learn how to fall asleep without medication.

Create a sleep strategy to determine the best routine, and plan to follow the routine for one to two weeks before making any alterations.

Your sleep strategy should include:

  • A regular bedtime
  • A consistent wake time
  • A record of any natural supplements you have tried
  • Routine activities that are not stimulating such as brushing your teeth or reading

Moving through a regular bedtime process will signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. The desired end result of having a sleep strategy is regular sleep that’s restful and refreshing.

Plan to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, and don’t allow yourself to oversleep.  If you wake up the same time every day you’ll establish a routine.

Avoid naps during the day because your body will be confused, and it will interrupt your sleep pattern. You can’t bank extra hours of sleep, and trying to sleep later in the morning to make up for sleep lost overnight will leave you feeling tired.

Every person has different sleep habits, so be patient while you work through the process of finding the sleep plan that works best for you.

Sleep Environment

In addition to a regular bedtime schedule, it is important to make your bedroom a place that is conducive to sleep.

The more comfortable and relaxing your sleep space is, the better your chances for falling asleep and staying asleep.

Consider these tips when creating your relaxing sleep atmosphere:

  • Get rid of all annoyances and interruptions.
  • Control the room temperature. Cooler air (between 65 and 70 degrees F) is typically more comfortable for sleep, however, set the temperature to your preference.
  • Allow for room ventilation, if possible. Crack a window slightly to allow for air flow. The circulating fresh air will help you breathe deeply, and provide oxygen that is essential for good sleep.
  • Use ear plugs if there are noises outside the bedroom. There are many types of plugs that are specifically for sleeping, so if, at first, you don’t find the perfect pair, try another.
  • Mask noises with a white noise machine if you decide to not wear earplugs. Machines are designed specifically for this purpose, or you can use a fan or air conditioner to provide the background noise. This will hide background sounds such as traffic or a barking dog.
  • Try using an MP3 player to play soothing background music.
  • Your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock, relies on light and dark patterns to determine when to signal your body to fall asleep. Keep your room as dark as possible to help your body settle into a sleep state. Use mini-blinds and thick curtains to block light from windows. Try wearing an eye mask to block any remaining light.
  • Having a clock by your bedside might be adding to your sleep problem. If you are watching the clock all night long, face it toward the wall so that you can’t see the time.  Constantly looking at the clock only makes you think about sleep, and lack of sleep, which continues the cycle of sleeplessness.
  • Consider a room humidifier for winter months when the air is dry.
  • Use your room only for sleeping. Remove the TV, computer, stereo. Your mind should associate your bedroom only with sleep.
  • Wear the most comfortable clothing you own. Non-constrictive clothing won’t wake you in the middle of the night.

As you can see here, there are many different tips to try to help you sleep better.  Each individual has their own unique combination of elements that make up their perfect sleep environment.

If one suggestion doesn’t work for you, make a note and try another until you find out what works best for you.

Sleep Equipment

Significant to the sleep environment is the equipment used when sleeping.  Sleep equipment includes the pillow, bedding, mattress, and sleep clothes.

Your mattress should be smooth and firm so that your back is well-supported and your body is comfortable when lying down.  Make sure the mattress is supported completely by the bed frame to avoid sagging.

The mattress should also be appropriately sized for your body.  Make sure you have a big enough bed so that you have enough space.  If you have a single or double bed, consider buying a larger queen or king sized mattress.

Use whatever style and type of pillow you find most comfortable.  It doesn’t matter what it’s made of as long as it provides you with neck and head support.

The sheets and blankets should be clean and pressed.  If you do not like feeling tucked in, loosen the sheets so that your feet can move around freely.

To find the right temperature for you, experiment with different blankets of a variety of weights and materials. Since a cool room is most conducive to sleep, keep the lower temperature in mind when selecting bedding.

Find a sleep position that is comfortable for you and lay in that position so that your body knows it’s time for sleep.  Whether it is lying on your back, on your side, or on your stomach, your favorite position will help you instantly get relaxed.



What’s So Good About Sleep Anyway?

  • Most of the body’s normal activities rely on having a regular sleep .
  • The nervous system, digestive system and the ability of of the body to repair itself are all dependent on your sleep cycles being consistent and regular.

Behavioral Changes for Healthy Sleep Habits

  • Habits at Bedtime
  • Sleep Environment
  • Sleep Equipment


– Do you always have enough sleep?

– Do you have some difficulty sleeping?

– Do you have a good sleeping habits?

– Do you have a conducive sleeping place?





5 Self-Help Techniques To Sleep Well

self-help techniques to sleep well

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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?




What Are Some Non-Surgical Solutions To Snoring?

nonsurgical solutions to snoring

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The non-surgical options for resolution of snoring can be broken down into different types of approaches: medicines, devices and appliances, changes in lifestyle concerning diet and exercise, sleeping habits and alternative forms of therapy for snoring.

Any of these can be implemented with success depending on the root cause of the snoring, and knowing what that root cause is.

This may require a combination approach, and will definitely require observation of the effects of these measures on the snoring issue itself in order to estimate how much relief results.

Medicinal Solutions

In many cases, prescribed medicines can provide a way out of the snoring nightmare.  Drugs are prescribed to achieve relief from snoring by accomplishing these tasks:

  • Unfurl the nasal airway
  • Energize breathing
  • Counteract deep R.E.M. sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)

R.E.M. sleep is an integral part of sleep.  It is the deep state of sleep in which the body recoups vitality and allows the mind to stay sharp and healthy.

The effect of these snore related drugs is to limit the depths to which the body can relax when in this state so as to keep the throat from relaxing too much and keeping the air passage open and free of obstruction thus leading to relief from snoring.

Basically, these medicines have the opposite effect of what happens when someone takes a sedative or has too much to drink.

These things relax a person more than usual and can exacerbate an existing snoring problem, or cause a person who does not normally snore to do so.

There are over the counter drugs available from pharmacies intended specifically to clear nasal sinuses and air passages.

These drugs are meant to treat cold or flu symptoms but are also useful to snorers for the decongestive and antihistamine properties contained therein.

Saline sprays, because they are sold in pharmacies as well are considered part of the same group.

These sprays are not controlled substances, by merely salt water used to keep sinuses and other tissues surrounding the air passages moist in an effort to reduce or eliminate vibration and thus one snore.

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Devices for Snoring

There are a number of devices out there to help people cope with their snoring.  These items start with very basic items and go to the very complex.

Most of these can be acquired at your local drugstore, on the internet, and by catalog.  The most popular and effective anti-snore items follow.

The Sandler Pillow

Named after the inventor of this type of pillow, this device is designed to eliminate snoring by obliging the sleeper to sleep on their side.

This often promotes a closed mouth while sleeping and helps to minimize vibration and thereby cancels out any snoring.

The Snore Ball

Since its invention in the early 1900’s this effective device has helped countless people to stop snoring by sleeping on their side.  The snore ball is inserted in a pouch located on the back of a set of pajamas.

When the sleeper goes to roll onto their back from sleeping on their side, the device makes this very uncomfortable, so the sleeper will resume the side sleeping position rather than sleeping on their back which is when most people snore.

The snore ball can be any kind of ball that will create enough discomfort to keep one from sleeping on their back.  Over time, a habit is formed making the ball unnecessary.

Sleep Position Monitor

This electronic device basically accomplishes the same goal in a different manner.  Instead of creating physical discomfort when a person lies on their back, which is when snoring occurs, the sleep position monitor starts to beep when the sleeper lies on their back.

The beeping can be disturbing to others, but the point is that this device helps establish new sleeping behaviors.  Anyone who has suffered a person snoring can deal with a little beeping until the problem is resolved.

By learning a better way to sleep, the person will stop snoring and the beeping will not be an issue over time.  Eventually, the sleep position monitor may not be necessary either.

Nasal Strips

This is a simple yet highly effective device that has become popular for many people.  The concept is basic, open up the nostrils to make breathing easier.  The device consists of a springy plastic strip combined with and adhesive material.

The strip is put on at bedtime and taken off in the morning.  The strips are so effective in maximizing breathing through the nose that they are used by many players of different sports.

This is an over the counter remedy that anyone can use because there is absolutely no medicine involved.

Even non-snorers are using them to get better more restful sleep by breathing easier and recharging their body with more oxygen.

Nasal Dilators

Nasal dilators offer the same relief of opening up the nostrils to ease breathing but take a slightly different approach than the nasal strips.

This kind of device is actually a coil made of steel or plastic placed into the nostrils when going to sleep.  The effect is easier breathing, less snoring.

Throat Sprays

This is another way to combat snoring.  A simple spray to the back of the throat keeps the tissues well lubed in order to reduce or eliminate vibration.

This is similar to a saline spray, the difference is what the spray consists of which in this case are specialized oils, not just salt water.

Throat sprays are another form of simple, inexpensive, yet effective of combating snoring when used properly.

Overuse of throat sprays can irritate the throat and then actually cause snoring.

If an over the counter spray is not good enough, a doctor can prescribe a more effective version of the same implement.

Snore Stopper

The snore stopper is a device that provides a negative association with snoring to make the person sleeping stop snoring.

The device can be worn on the arm or the wrist and whenever snoring is detected the device gives the sleeper a small jolt of electricity to get them to stop.

Another version actually causes the tongue muscles to tense which opens the airway making it easier to breathe and hence stop snoring.

Snoring Appliances

Snoring appliances are applied inside the mouth to directly influence or affect the components of the mouth to eliminate snoring.

These work to manipulate the tongue, jaw, and palate in some combination to stop snoring and provide better rest.

Oral Appliances

These sets of tools are often designed by medical and dental professionals to help with the snoring dilemma.

By influencing the parts of the mouth these devices affect three basic properties to eliminate snoring.

They are:

  • Keeping the mouth closed so that a person may not snore by making the trachea vibrate.
  • Positioning the jaw in a forward placement to keep the tongue from sliding back and blocking the airway.
  • Opening the airway as much as possible to ease breathing and prevent snoring.
Tongue Retaining Appliances

This style of appliance specifically targets the tongue.  The effect of this appliance keeps the tongue forward by using suction to train the tongue not to lay back over the airway.

This increases airflow making it easier to breathe and preventing the vibration that causes snoring.

A tongue retainer is for people who cannot or will not sleep on their side, and although a tongue retainer may be less than comfortable, it is a highly effective option.

Mandibular Advancement Appliances

Shortened to MAA, this is a splint style of appliance that are basically like a mouth guard used in sports.

This keeps the jaw locked in a position that keeps it from moving back and creating an obstruction that leads to snoring.

These must be custom molded by a dental professional and may be somewhat costly but are a great way to stop snoring.

Thronton Adjustable Positioners

The Silenceris a popular example of this kind of device, which was created by Dr. Thronton in the 1990’s.

This is an expensive option, but for a reason; it is adjustable and is sometimes crafted from titanium.

These are often referred to as TAPs and are similar in nature to MAAs in that they move the jaw forward in order to keep the  airway open and prevent snoring.

Palate Lifters

Also known as lip shields, or lip lifters, this appliance augments the palate to keep from vibrating and causing a person to snore.

This is an option to consider, although there has yet to be a resolute opinion in the efficiency of this type of appliance.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

This appliance is designed to tackle Sleep Apnea specifically.  It works similar to an oxygen mask.

The mask is worn on the face, or over the nose and keeps what is called positive pressure in the airway which prevents the collapse of tissue and eases breathing to the point of controlling one’s blood pressure while asleep.lifestyle, diet

Lifestyle and Snoring – Diet


Allergies have been linked to snoring, but because there are so many allergens, and each person is different, it is up to the individual to observe when they are snoring and what they are allergic to.

Any kind of allergic reaction can lead to snoring, so when you are suffering from allergies, whether they a food allergies or pet, you need to take notice and take the appropriate measures to handle these allergies.


If you are overweight and snore, you can bet that your snoring is at least in part related to your obesity.

Losing weight has a wide variety of health benefits, including better sleep by not snoring.

This has to do with your diet and eating habits, so if you shape up, you may stop snoring altogether.

Eating Habits

Certain foods cause congestion, like dairy, fried foods, junk food and sweets.  If you snore, your diet probably has something to do with it.

Eating a healthier diet can improve your health as well as minimize if not alleviate any snoring.  There are foods that are considered to be beneficial for people who snore, which consist mostly of leafy greens.

Clean Living

Your habits can determine whether or not you will snore.  Healthy habits actually prevent snoring.  Drinking and sleeping pills are known to cause snoring; use these in moderation.

If you smoke and you snore, chances are quitting will help you sleep better by not snoring.  Caffeine has been linked to respiratory issues, so keep your intake to a minimum.

lifestyle, exercise

Lifestyle and Snoring – Exercise

Exercise, in general, is good for the body and helps to achieve more restful sleep.  Healthy habits help prevent to minimize snoring, but there are snoring specific exercises one can do.

Throat Work Out

Toning the muscles of the throat can really improve the breathing process when sleeping, thus helping with snoring if not eradicating it all together.

There are a few options to stress the muscles systems that affect snoring. You can firmly hold a pencil between your teeth for up to five minutes.  Pressing a finger to the chin with moderate pressure for a few minutes builds jaw strength.

Also holding the tip of the tongue firmly against the bottom front teeth strengthens the tongue.  These are exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.

These should not be painful, and the more these exercises are implemented, the better the results will be.

Sleep Factors

One needs to consider the way in which one sleeps and how that affects the way you breathe at night.

Sleeping on your back promotes snoring, but having a good pillow, or sleeping with something under the chin can help to stop snoring.  Anything to keep the mouth shut during sleep is a big help.

Your sleep environment plays a role in snoring too.  A humidifier will help keep the throat and sinuses moist, and making the room as dark and quiet as possible helps to reduce stress, and calm the person sleeping to the point that breathing becomes easier.

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Snoring Therapy Alternatives

Here are some other approaches one can try when dealing with snoring; these have been around for some time because of how successful they have been in combating snoring.

A warm drink before bed or herbal tea can really help alleviate snoring.  Relaxation techniques to calm the mind and practice breathing techniques like Tai Chi and Yoga have been of great benefit to many snorers.

Other forms of relaxation include meditation and massage, or even just soothing music.  Homeopathic medicines offer many ways to deal with snoring too.

Homeopathic alternatives look to achieve the same end result in different ways, such as dissolving blockages in the nose and throat or lubrication with natural products.

Magnetic therapy is popular in china and can help ameliorate snoring by affecting the nerves found in the nose.  Magnets can be put all over the body to achieve results that improve issues with snoring.

This applies even to weight loss which can affect snoring.  Even hypnosis has been used to help control snoring by some, although many are skeptical of this practice as it is not a recognized successful solution to snoring.

Other more “alternative” therapies are based on light and color, or in other circumstances gems and crystals as sources of healing power.

These latter examples have yet to be established as effective by science or medicine, but the power of belief can be enough to produce the placebo effect.

As long as the end result is the cessation of snoring, any means can be tried and tested to see if they work for a given individual.



Medicinal Solutions

Devices for Snoring

  • The Sandler Pillow
  • The Snore Ball
  • Sleep Position Monitor
  • Nasal Strips
  • Nasal Dilators
  • Throat Sprays
  • Snore Stopper
  • Snoring Appliances
  • Oral Appliances
  • Tongue Retaining Appliances
  • Mandibular Advancement Appliances
  • Thronton Adjustable Positioners
  • Palate Lifters
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Lifestyles and Snoring – Diet

  • Allergies
  • Weight
  • Eating Habits
  • Clean Living

Lifestyles and Snoring – Exercise

  • Throat Work Out
  • Sleeping Factors
  • Snoring Therapy Alternatives


– Are you aware that you are snoring at night?

– Do you know someone who is a loud snorer?

– Are you familiar with other solutions to snoring?

– Does lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) can affect snoring?