It's frustrating when you can't get to sleep at night. Faced with the agonising prospect of having to wake up in just a few hours for school or work, you feel increasingly anxious with every tick of the clock.
Here are some tips to help you catch up on your beauty sleep:
Stick to a regular bedtime
Go to bed and wake up at about the same time everyday, even on the weekends. This helps your body maintain a sleep-wake cycle, so you can hit the sack and fall asleep more easily.
While regular exercise will help you sleep better, the timing of the workout is important. As a general guideline, keep any vigorous activity to a minimum of three to four hours before bedtime.
Shy away from stimulants
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least four to six hours before bedtime. Overindulge in these stimulants and you may find yourself staying owl-eyed into the wee hours!
Refrain from heavy meals just before bedtime
If you must, have a small sandwich, or a glass of milk or Milo or Hoclicks. Also, refrain from drinking too much fluid before bedtime, or your sleep may be frequently interrupted.
Carve out your own relaxing bedtime routine
Create a bedtime routine to help you feel relaxed and sleep better. You may take a leisurely warm shower, read a book, or listen to light, soothing music.
Cut down on napping during the day
If you need to take a nap during the day, keep it to no more than one hour and in the early part of the afternoon.
Invest in comfortable bed and pillows
This is subjective. Your mattress and pillows should allow you to sleep comfortably, so that you don't awake to aches as well.
Don't count (on) the sheep
If you don't fall asleep within 15-20 minutes, rather than lie in the bed counting sheep and get increasingly agitated from being unable to sleep, get up and do something else. But don't do anything too stimulating like watching an action movie or TV. Instead, try reading the newspapers or a magazine until you feel sleepy.
It's normal to have occasional trouble sleeping. If this happens often or for extended periods of time, consult your doctor. You might suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, which, in turn, could be the sign of more deep-rooted problems.