This article is a summary of some of the sleep aid remedies that are described in greater detail and with recipes and instructions at www.sleep-aid-tips.com
Balance and perspective:
At certain times, insomnia may result from stress.
Massage techniques can ease tense necks, aching shoulders and upright torsos, and face massage can be an instant calmer.
Some stress is an inevitable part of life, but when you need to achieve a state of inner calm, a range of meditation and visualization techniques can help you work through your insecurities, worries and anxieties.
With practice, stress can be diminished so that it is no longer a cause of sleepless nights.
A calm environment:
Lack of sleep can also be exacerbated by external factors such as noise, a "busy" atmosphere in the bedroom, or simply the wrong type of mattress.
By making the best of your physical environment, you can reduce or remove many of these detrimental factors.
Following the principles of feng shui you can arrange your bedroom space to best effect and remove clutter that can clog free-flowing "chi" or energy.
Choosing a calming room décor and lighting scheme can soothe the senses, while establishing a bed-time ritual can make sleep a pleasant and comforting experience to look forward to.
In view of the many demands made by daily life, it is essential to find time to switch off from cares and worries in the evening, and indulge in some personal quality time.
However busy you are, you should take time to wind down before trying to go to sleep, otherwise your mind will still be buzzing with the concerns of the day.
Surrounding yourself with gentle candlelight and sinking into a hot bath laced with aromatherapy oils or herbal sachets can go a long way to soothe and prepare your body for sleep.
Essential oils such as lavender and clary sage added to the water help to diminish tension headaches and muscular aches, while bath bags or bath salts made with chamomile help to ease stress.
You can also use the natural energies from flowers and herbs as a base for warming foot baths, soporific sleep pillows and effective sleep tinctures.
You ate dinner at 6pm; it's now 11.30pm and you're ready to go to bed, but now you're feeling hungry and thirsty again.
What do you do? Instead of raiding the refrigerator for a substantial and perhaps indigestible meal, it is better to opt for a light snack, such as toast with a topping and perhaps a hot, comforting beverage.
Try to avoid tea and coffee as they are stimulants and will tend to keep you awake if you drink them late in the day.
Instead, herbal teas prepared for their sedative properties may be sipped in the evening, while warm, milky drinks are ideal for consumption before bed - milk contains peptides that calm the system.
The occasional hot toddy can also provide a delicious way to wind down, and this is particularly good on a cold winter's evening, especially if you are suffering from a cold.
Calming the psyche:
Sometimes it is difficult to sleep due to excessive emotions, such as fear, excitement or anxiety. Crystal therapy can help to calm heartache; choosing the right stones can also calm restlessness and anxiety, and help to regulate sleep patterns.
Crystals can be helpful when bad dreams and nightmares are keeping you awake, as can techniques such as visualizing a guardian angel or spiritual protector. When you have perplexing or mystifying dreams, it can be very helpful to write down what happened before you forget, so that you can ponder and try to analyze them later on.
Working towards an understanding of your dreams adds an enjoyable richness to what can be the fascinating pageant of sleep.
Exercise to relax:
Keeping the body moving is essential for good sleep - without exercise, you 3will not be physically tired enough to rest at night. Aerobic activities such as walking and cycling exercise the heart and tone the muscles, while some specific yoga techniques provide an excellent way to stretch and relax.
If all else fails and you are still awake in the dead of night, try some or all, of these quick insomnia cures:
Lie on your back with your knees propped up on a small pillow
Sleep with your head pointing in the direction North
Get up the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night for a week
Visualize yourself in a peaceful place, such as a field full of wildflowers with a gentle breeze blowing, or near a gently flowing stream where you can see fish swimming past you.
Visualize a boring scenario, such as a lecture you have no interest in
Read out loud the names and numbers from the phone book
Reserve your bedroom and the bed as a place for sleep only
Wiggle your toes gently until you fall asleep
Rub your stomach lightly
Cut up a mild onion, place in a jar by the bed and sniff before retiring.
Think of ten wonderful things that have happened to you today
Squeeze all your muscles together tightly for a few minutes and then relax.
Threaten yourself that "If I am not asleep within the next 10 minutes, I will get up and?" clean the oven, or clean the fridge?.whatever you really hate doing? When your brain knows you really mean it - this will scare you to sleep to avoid a nasty chore!
Avoid these sleep deterrents:
Drinking excessive alcohol
Taking long naps in the afternoon
Watching disturbing films prior to bed
Reading mentally stimulating books prior to bed
Playing video games
Listening to fast paced or loud, stimulating music.
About the Author:Helene Malmsio is an student and advocate of self help strategies for improvement in all areas of life, including health.