Are you tired of lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, wishing sleep would come? Try these lab-tested tips.
Step 1: Time your workouts Get some exercise during the day. People who are physically active fall asleep faster and sleep better overall, as long as they don't exert themselves within three hours of bedtime.
Step 2: Get off the cell phone Turn off your cell phone at least an hour before going to bed. One study indicated that being exposed to cell phone radiation before going to bed may compromise sleep quality.
Step 3: Get a whiff of this Put a few drops of vanilla oil on a tissue and tuck it inside your pillowcase. Studies have indicated the scent may help people nod off faster than they normally would, and get them into the REM, or dream state, more quickly.
TIP: The scent of lavender may help people fall asleep, too.
Step 4: Picture this Imagine a scene that is pleasant and soothing to you. This may help you relax enough to fall asleep.
Step 5: Take a pill Still not asleep? Take a tablet of melatonin, an over-the-counter hormone that promotes sleep. It proved effective in a study of nurses who took it to deal with the sleep problems brought on by shift work.
Step 6: Don't force it If nothing is working, get out of bed, keep the lights dim, and do something -- as long as it doesn't involve turning on an electronic device, which will only stimulate your further. Return to bed when you feel drowsy.
FACT: Sleep is as essential as food: humans die about as quickly from food deprivation as sleep deprivation.