Everyone of us, at one time or the other has been pestered by sleep problems. Sleeplessness could be transient and short-term or chronic. When it becomes a chronic problem it takes the form of insomnia and requires special attention. The first noticeable signs of poor sleeping habits are dark circles under the eyes pale skin, hair loss. Getting enough sleep is a must. Without proper sleep, your mind does not work as clearly and efficiently. You feel drained physically and mentally. Exactly how much you need to sleep depends on your own individual internal system. While some can do with 4-5 hours; most of us need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. But instead of reaching for a pill or a glass of wine, it's wise to try out these time-honoured remedies and lifestyle changes.
* See a doctor to find out if you are suffering from any physical or psychological ailment like depression, which may be the root cause of your insomnia.
* Regular exercises are a must for a good sleep. But don't overdo it.
* Try to relax in the last hour or two before bedtime. Do not do any stimulating, tiring or exciting work at that time. If you have a favourite relaxation exercise, do that instead.
* Get your internal clock in good working order. Start by keeping a fixed time to go to bed every night. Get up at the same time everyday, even if you went to bed late, did not sleep well or want to sleep in. Getting up at the same time is an important part of getting your internal clock to work properly. When you get your internal clock to function well, it will make you sleepy at bedtime and wake you up at the proper time every morning.
* If you want to take an afternoon nap, do not let it last more than 20 to 30 minutes. If you nap longer you may have trouble sleeping that night.
* Soak in a warm, relaxing bath before going to bed, or drink a glass of warm milk. The tryptophan in milk elevates the important chemical serotonin in the brain, with the result that you fall asleep naturally and quickly.
* Don't eat a heavy meal in the evening, especially late in the evening
* Don't drink any alcoholic beverages after your evening meal. Also don't drink any tea, coffee or colas late in the day. Especially if you are sensitive to caffeine, avoid it completely.
* Don't worry about not going to sleep. As a matter of fact don't worry about anything, just tell yourself that you will deal with it in the morning only with a fresh mind.