How you can make changes in your life to help conquer your lack of sleep.
How to get to sleep using a natural, permanent cure for insomnia and other sleep problems.
Sleep is such a big and important part of our lives, it should be a priority to ensure that everyone gets an adequate amount of good quality sleep.
We have put together some tips here for natural ways you can help yourself to achieve this.
Everybody is different, and everybody has different reasons for finding getting to sleep and staying asleep difficult.
Pick the top reason or reasons why you are suffering from lack of sleep and work on that first, if it does not help, then move onto the next reason.
When you wake in the night, or cannot get to sleep, you feel "wired" If this is the case, there is probably something in your diet that is stimulating you, just like a drug.
It may be caffeine, or msg, food colourings or flavourings.
Start by cutting out coffee, tea and fizzy drinks at 4pm in the afternoon, if that doesn't help, cut it out from lunchtime.
Then think about your evening meal or snacks.
Eat only natural unprocessed foods, particularly in the afternoon and evening.
Snacks could be nuts, fruit, plain dark chocolate or cut up raw vegetables.
Remember all pre-packaged dips, chips and biscuits contain colourings and flavourings, so steer clear of them.
When you cannot sleep, your mind is busy worrying about problems Make learning how to handle stress and worry a priority.
When you wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep, note what it is that is going through your mind, have a piece of paper by the bed and write it down.
Tell yourself that you will deal with it in the morning.
Then do some deep breathing exercises or meditation to get back to sleep.
If you use music to get to sleep, replay the music to get back to sleep.
Take positive steps to learn how to handle stress in your life.
Most large companies these days offer their employees access to free or subsidised counselling services, but they are largely under-utilised.
If this is available, take advantage of it and work on how to handle stress.
If this is not an option for you, look for community organisations that offer a similar service, or talk to your doctor.
Take some meditation classes and learn how to leave your worries behind for the time that you are meditating, and then use the same techniques when worries go through your head during the night and threaten to keep you awake.
A good yoga class will also teach you how to do this, as you leave your everyday life behind when you get on your yoga mat.
Consider buying a meditation course such as Holosync.
These recordings use binaural beats that have a huge range of beneficial effects.
Whilst using the tapes for meditation, ideally you should stay awake, but you will often fall into a kind of trance-like sleep.
Once the recording finishes, you will find that you automatically come out of this trance-like state, but it is very easy to fall back into a natural sleep as your body is so relaxed.
There are special Holosync recordings called Floating that are designed to listen to while going to sleep and whilst you are asleep.
You do not seem to feel tired at bedtime If you feel tired in the afternoon and decide to have a nap, limit it to no more than 30 minutes.
This will give you a refreshing pick-me-up without getting into a deep sleep that will not energise you.
Sleeping deeply during the day will disturb your sleep rhythm and may lead to the return of sleep problems.
If you are going out, but are feeling tired and need to energise yourself before going out, try a rejuvenating yoga pose called "legs up the wall".
Position yourself close to a wall and sit down sideways on to the wall, as close as you can, with your legs extended out in line with the wall.
Lie down on your back and wriggle around so that your legs are up the wall, keeping your bottom as close to the wall as possible.
Have your arms on the floor at either side of your body, palms facing upwards.
Gently close your eyes and take several deep breaths, feeling your chest rise and stomach fall with each in breath, your chest fall and stomach rise with each out breath.
Push away all thoughts of the day and relax your body.
Stay in this position for around ten minutes.
When it is time to get up, gently open your eyes, bring your awareness back to the present and get up slowly.
You will feel refreshed and rested.
You may fall into a light sleep during this pose, but you will not fall deeply asleep - the position of your legs will ensure that! Plan to get some regular exercise in the evening.
A 30-minute walk after dinner will help your digestion.
Make sure you complete your walk at least an hour and a half before your designated bedtime, to give your body time to slow down before sleep Find a sleep trigger that will tell your body it is time to go to sleep.
Be on the lookout for a special piece of music to use as your sleep trigger.
This should be relaxing and peaceful music that you enjoy, and it should last for at least ten minutes, preferably longer.
The music that I have used as my sleep music for many years is "Edge of Dreams" by Phil Thornton.
It has two twenty minute tracks and that is plenty of time to send me off into a peaceful sleep.