Quality sleep is such an important part of living a happy and healthy life. There are biological processes that simply do not happen optimally until we are asleep. It is when our cells reproduce and our tissues repair, appetite regulation occurs, immune system is replenished, there are neurobiological resets, and on and on. Plus, quality sleep just feels good. This is why whatever health concern a person comes to see me with I always like to make sure they are sleeping well and to make sure we have that down along with other things we are treating. For some, their insomnia is chronic or otherwise at the forefront of their concerns, and persistent to an extent that calls for our treatment plan to address the sleep directly, using acupuncture and herbs. For others, they may not need a focused treatment for sleep but instead they might just need slightly better sleep hygiene, little tweaks they can make at home. Sleep hygiene is defined as habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis. Below is a link to an article with a list of helpful sleep inducing tips, and I have added a few of my own notes, that I have seen work really well for people. Sometimes someone only needs to adopt one of these things, sometimes doing all of them together is what does the trick. And some of these might not work for you at all. We are all unique and living in a state of health mostly has to do with finding what works for our own individual make-up. Something tailored-made. For example, TV time might help some wind down into a sound slumber, but for others this causes restlessness. So do what feels right, what feels good, and what works!
Here is a pretty solid list to start with:
One part that I would like to expand on is #3, Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine, by adding: no screen time 60 minutes before bedtime. If there is one, and only one, thing you want to try I would suggest this one. I am mainly talking about screen time with your computer, tablet or phone. There is a particular light called blue light that emits from our electronic devices that turns off our body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. You can learn more about blue light, and tips to manage it here: https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/11/06/latest-blue-light-sleep/ There is also the subfactor of information overload right before bed and the tendency we have to stay on our computers for longer than we expected to.
And of course there are even more tricks out there that people have found work for them, anywhere from honey and salt https://www.davidwolfe.com/mix-these-2-before-bed-and-never-wake-up-tired-again/ to negotiating chores (I once read how a woman would finally fall asleep right after she told herself she should instead get out of bed to mop the kitchen floor!), so stay open to learning more.
My own personal favorite way to bring on elusive sleep is the body scan http://marc.ucla.edu/mpeg/Body-Scan-for-Sleep.mp3 Sometimes I love listening to a recording and other times I do it on my own, with no audio. Bliss.