National Sleep Awareness Week -- March 8-14. Here are some simple tips to beat insomnia and get a good night's sleep:
  • Do something dull before retiring. Do your taxes, read a phone book, sort your laundry. A little of this boredom goes a long way toward promoting sleep.
  • Drink milk before bedtime. Milk contains substance that relax the body. And the great news is it doesn't even have to be warm to be effective. Warm it only if you like that way.
  • Keep the bedroom dark. Light interferes with sleep. Even when your eyes are closed, they still perceive light. Avoid nightlights and illuminated clock dials, and close the shades if light from the outside comes through the window.
  • Keep the bedroom cool and the bed warm. The ideal sleeping situation is to be bundled warmly in a snug bed in a room that's well ventilated and a little bit chilly.
  • Enjoy herbal tea before bed -- but not too much of it. Many people sip relaxing teas made from chamomile, passionflower, hawthorn and other herbs to help them get their rest. But remember, drinking too much of any liquid before bedtime can have the opposite effect, particularly if you have a sensitive bladder.
  • Use your bed for only one thing: sleep. Well, okay maybe two things. The point is, if you like to read yourself to sleep, or knit or work puzzles, do these activities in a favorite chair or sofa. We want our minds to associate bed with sleep.
Top five ways you can tell you need more sleep:
  1. You dozed off during the March Madness games.
  2. You take a nap driving into work.
  3. You take another nap driving home.
  4. You parked your car three feet from your desk... and you work on the second floor.
  5. You yawn while you're sleeping.


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