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Useful Tips for Insomnia / bad sleep



Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
Nr London
Just thought I would post this as many of us struggle with sleep sometime or more often. I used to have on off severe insomnia for about 10 years. Below will really help although of course for severe insomnia you should speak to your GP as well. Any contributions woudl be welcome for what people find help them sleep. Thought it might be useful post as lack of sleep prevents mind and body resting and this aint helpful for an over active mind!!!!!

General Sleeping Tips
IMPORTANT: To break bad sleeping patterns it takes time, so don’t give up, keep using the techniques. It can take 1 month or longer to establish and efficient and regular pattern of sleep (especially if your sleep has been disturbed for some time)

Keep a regular sleep schedule - Get up at same time, bed at same time when possible, regardless of what time you fell asleep the night before, use an alarm clock to wake you if necessary. Develop a ‘relaxing bed routine’.

Relaxing Bed Routine:
• Develop a relaxation routine that you feel comfortable with.
• Do it just before going into bed (this will help with the de- arousal routine).
• What relaxation technique to use is personal but techniques include visualisation, rogressive, meditation, breathing and music.
• Relaxation is a learnt skill so it needs practising. Nobody gets good at a skill by doing it once only.
• Hot bath before bedtime relaxes you

• Use the bed and bedroom only for sleep and sex.
• If in bed and getting negative thoughts, deal with CBT / MBSR. Notice, label & refocus attention. Anxiety can increase nervous system activity that can disrupt sleep. This is not an absolute though!
• Avoid reading and watching TV in bed if you can’t sleep (if it relaxes you and you enjoy it that is fine).
• If bedsit, then sit in chair not the bed.

Reflect on days thoughts and plan next day
• Put the day ‘to bed’ in the early evening -We all need to reflect on the day (success & failures) and plan the next day.
• Do it earlier –sit down for 10-15 minutes at 7pm and reflect & plan next day (write it down – to do lists).
• Bed is not the best place.

Let sleep happen, don’t try to sleep - avoid worrying about getting to sleep, if you are not tired don’t force it.

Trouble Falling Asleep When You First Go To Bed
At anytime you have not fallen asleep after 30 minutes of being in bed, get up and go sit in another room and relax until you feel sleepy again (e.g. listen to relaxing music, read a relaxing book, or watch boring t.v. until feel sleepy). Times are flexible.
DON’T: keep looking at the time.
Wake Up In The Night and Trouble Falling Asleep again
At anytime you have not fallen asleep after 15 to 20 minutes of being in bed, get up and go sit in another room and relax until you feel sleepy again. DON’T GET ANXIOUS ABOUT A BAD NIGHTS SLEEP

DON’T DO: Daytime Sleeping

- Do not take recovery sleep in the day for missed sleep the night before. This disrupts your natural sleep/wake cycle. This will be difficult at first, especially if you are used to naps in the day.

Reduce Daytime Sleeping OR Sleeping Longer In Mornings

-If you are tending to sleep too long into the day, gradually cut back on your sleeping time by setting your alarm clock to wake up ½ an hour earlier. Allow your body to adjust to this change for 1 week then set it up earlier again. Use this method until you have reduced your daytime sleeping or morning sleep ins to a more regular sleeping pattern.


Some medications can affect your sleep because the act as stimulants. If you are taking medication it is worth checking this with your doctor (G.P.)

Bedroom environment:

• reduce unwanted noise and light in the bedroom - darkness for sleep, but dawn light important.
• Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature - not too hot or too cold (Comfortably cool bedroom and bed – heat needs to escape from hands, face and feet so vasodilate if necessary – e.g. hot bath).

• Do not eat heavily at night and avoid being hungry (hunger can impair ability to fall asleep).

Your Bed:
• -Is your bed comfortable (mattress & pillows)? If not get a new one. You need a good bed to help with sleep. Beds last for roughly 10 years.

Caffeine: minimise use of caffeinated beverages it is a stimulant.- do not drink tea, coffee, cola. No need to abstain completely from caffeine, just restrict to morning/lunch.

Warm milk: try drinking a warm milky drink. (e.g. horlicks) – milk releases chemicals in the brain that makes one sleepy although the effect is small.

Alcohol: Avoid too much alcohol. You will go to sleep but into a stupor, semi-comatose. Alcohol impairs breathing, then, there is a re-bound wakefulness 4 - 5 hours later. Eventually causes sleep to deteriorate. This can be a powerful disrupter of sleep

Changing Patterns
Phase delayed individuals : (owls – say sleep onset around 1.00am or later) need morning light. Open curtains or bright light.
Phase advanced individuals (say 21:00 asleep) should have bright light in the evening, and possibly exercise 7-8pm.


Do exercise in the day but not during the evening and late evening. Exercise is activating.

Everyone Can Have A Bad Night Sleep
If you have one bad night sleep, don’t get anxious. Remember everyone has bad nights. Go back to techniques that have been learnt.


Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
Nr London
For me the main thing that cured my insomnia (Writting this at 1:46am:cry:) was counting breathing exercises. Doing these just relaxed and switched off my mind then I could sleep and broke all pychological obstacles that kept me awake. When you don't sleep regualry (this is for more serious insomnics) there are lots of pychological issues at stake that keep you awake and you brain ssiwtched on. You go to bed and your mind has become programmed to think. I will still be awake in 3 hours and this can stop any sleep/relaxation. There are ways to takle this and for me breathing was main way (it was a counting breating exercise) and it distracted my thoughts and switched them off then I was alseep. it was amazingly affective.

Serious insonniacs should abviously see GP who can send you to a therpist to counteract negative thinking patterns that can stop sleep.

Also forces youself to go to bed around 11 - no later then 12. Should take this advice myself now.

Accupuncture and reflexology can help as well.

Time for bed now myself I think....:sleep:
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