quiet. You’ve snuggled into bed, pulled up the covers, and assumed your usual sleeping position. The steady breathing of your spouse, or pet, as the case might be, signals he or she is sound asleep. It’s later. You turn over. You turn over again. Your usually
comfy bed grows less comfortable with the passing hours. Why can’t you fall asleep? Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
through the night. Occasional diffi culty sleeping is probably not anything to worry about, and most people are able to overcome it with these good sleep habits:
• Stay on schedule. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, no more than an hour later or earlier—yes, even on the weekends!
29 Inside Report | 2Q 2012 The lights are off. The house is
• Get up. Once awake, get out of bed. Too much waking time in bed can lead to insomnia.
• Get outdoors, especially fi rst thing in the morning. Sun exposure within the fi rst 30 minutes of sunrise regulates your body’s natural rhythms.
• Be active. Get plenty of exercise—do it in the early morning sunshine, and you’ll kill two birds with one stone. An intense workout right before bedtime, though, can perk you up.
• Have fun. Studies have shown that people who did fun and interesting things during the day slept better than those who didn’t.
• Avoid long naps, especially late in the day. If you’re too drowsy to make it through the day, take a 10- to 20-minute nap in the early afternoon,
preferably lying in a darkened room.
• Eat light in the evening. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime. Try to consume the bulk of your calories at breakfast and lunch—this practice helps with weight management too!
• Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Reserve your bedroom for sleeping. Don’t work, pay bills, watch TV, or use your smartphone in bed.
• Turn the houselights down. Use low light for an hour or so before bedtime to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. If your housemates object, wear sunglasses.
• Take a bath. A warm bath can be deeply relaxing. Add some herbs or essential oils, like chamomile and lavender, to promote sleep. But a