Sleep loss widespread – Do you toss and turn at night, yearning for a good night's sleep? According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 50-70 million American adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder that can affect their lives in serious ways.
Sleep deprivation costs society – Car accidents, industrial disasters, occupational and medical errors as well as reduced quality of life and productivity are also linked to sleep deprivation.
Train your brain instead – Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, helped chronic insomnia patients to go to sleep 20 minutes faster and stay asleep longer, improving sleep efficiency by almost 10 percent. CBT is a psychological treatment that focuses on changing specific behaviors and thinking processes.
Avoid bad habits – For example, CBT would work on your bad habits, removing the factors that might condition your mind to resist sleep. You'd learn to set a consistent bed time and wake time, to avoid naps, and to only use the bed when you are going to sleep or being intimate with a partner.
Create new calming habits – Good sleep hygiene, say the experts, also looks at your basic lifestyle habits. So, for example, you don't want to smoke or drink too much or have caffeine late in the day. You want to be sure you're getting regular exercise. Yoga is a super choice.
Create a sleepy bedroom paradise – Keep your bedroom, quiet, dark and cool—at the right temperature for you. And if you struggle with insomnia you certainly don't want to have the TV in your bedroom. But don't stay in bed if you can't sleep. Get up if you've not fallen asleep within 20 minutes and only go back to bed when you are sleepy.
Try meditation – Get up if you can't sleep and try relaxation techniques. Meditation is a proven winner.
Use your imagination – Relaxation training is really helpful, say experts. You can try muscle relaxation, even sleep imagery, such as imagining yourself in a safe place that is quiet and calm.
Stay away from electronics – But avoid turning on the TV, and don't check your email or Facebook on your smartphone or computer either. The light can stimulate your senses.
Don't give up – Training your brain and body to get a better night's sleep takes patience and commitment, but once you do, experts say you'll get much better quality sleep, you'll go to bed and to sleep more quickly, without any drugs and side effects.