What Should You Do If You Can't Fall Asleep?


Quick Answer

To combat insomnia, HowStuffWorks recommends several different tricks, such as getting out of bed and going into another room of the house to engage in a mundane activity for 15 to 20 minutes. It can also help to have a small snack before bed that is high in carbohydrates to increase the body's release of tryptophan.

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Foods that contain magnesium or calcium, such as dairy, bananas, apples, nuts and whole-grain breads, are also thought to relax the body and lull it into sleep. It is important not to eat too much before bed, as an overstuffed belly can lead to sleep disruptions, according to HowStuffWorks. Additionally, foods that cause indigestion and heartburn should be avoided as a pre-bed snack.

Engaging in visualization techniques and rhythmic abdominal breathing are ways to calm the central nervous system and put the mind into a state of relaxation that is conducive to sleep. Another approach known as progressive muscle relaxation helps to fool the body into tranquility by purposefully tensing muscles several times so that they feel more loose upon releasing the constriction. HowStuffWorks stresses the importance of investing in a high-quality mattress that incorporates wool into its top layers to pull heat and moisture away from the body. Mattresses should not be too soft so that they are able to provide adequate support to the body's joints and neck.

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