— Michele L., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I'm afraid that you have a sleep disorder and should seek the intensive advice and diagnostic abilities of a sleep clinic. Since you live in a big city, your local medical school will have a training hospital. Go there instead of a general practitioner. Chronic insomnia is a very specific and often baffling problem.
In the meantime, if you decide to pursue self-help, the next steps all are experimental. You need to try various things and see which begin to offer improvement.
- Sleep in a totally blacked-out room. Even a minor amount of light can disturb sleep and make insomnia worse.
- Go to sleep at the same time every night.
- Don't read before going to sleep or use your mind actively at the computer or on work brought home from the office.
- Don't eat close to bedtime.
- In place of pharmaceutical sleep aids, explore the many herbal options.
- Meditate in bed for half an hour without worry about falling asleep. Then slide gently into a sleeping position as you follow your breathing in and out.
- Follow a regular, easy stretching program and tend to minor aches and pains. Stiffness and discomfort in the body greatly contribute to insomnia.
- A warm bath before bedtime.
Can I cause myself to be ill?
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