According to a German medical journal, every fifth person has some sleeping disorder — women more so than men, adults more so than youths, town dwellers more so than people in the country. Some have difficulty in feeling asleep, others wake up too early, and still others wake up many times during the night. What can you do about it if you have such problems?
1. Stop worrying and start sleeping - Usually there is no danger in being without sleep for a period now and then. A likens sleep to a dove. If you hold your hand out gently, it comes voluntarily and settles on it. But if you try to grab it, it flies away.
Indeed, analysis of the sleep of persons who claim to suffer from sleeplessness shows that they often sleep more than they think they do.
2. Find the cause – It is important to find the real cause of your sleeping problem, if indeed you have one. Sleeplessness may be a symptom of some physical disorder, such as hypertension or upset stomach. But often, the cause is in your mind rather than in your body. Are you worrying about something? Try to reason it out with yourself in a balanced way. Prayer, offered in faith, can put a person's mind at ease.
Consulting a wise and mature person regarding your problem may also be beneficial.
Perhaps the problem is not you but that of your environment. The ventilation of the bedroom may be poor, or the temperature may be too high. Try keeping it between 59 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 17 degrees Celsius). Rather high humidity in the bedroom is usually good. If you take the chill off your bed before lying in it, you may fall asleep more easily, as a cool bed has a stimulating effect.
Is your bed well-suited to you? You should be able to move in it without difficulty. Since your bed is where you spend one third of your life, get the best you can afford. Make sure it is correctly placed in the room. Most people prefer to sleep with their head toward the window. Even the material in the mattress and the bedclothes may affect your sleep. For example, a nightdress of synthetic fiber might cause discomfort.
The bedroom light may disturb you. Some need complete darkness and even have to wear an eye mask, while others want a soft night lamp burning. There may also be annoying sounds. Have a new washer put in that dripping faucet. If nothing else helps, use earplugs — although it takes some time to get used to them, and they are not a good idea for people with chronic ear problems.
3. Reset your day and night rhythm – Do not try to force yourself into sleep. Some people simply cannot get sleepy until the early morning hours. Doctors have found that it is much easier to adjust their internal clocks by advancing them than by trying to "move the hands back." Some lifetime insomniacs were cured by simply postponing their bedtime a few hours each day until their cycles advanced to a normal bedtime. "During treatment, I felt, like a zombie (a walking dead person)," admits one cured patient, but the final results were good.
Some people who complain about poor night sleep actually rob themselves by sleeping during the day. So, if you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, try to avoid that nap after lunch. "But I get so drowsy!" some will say. Well, at those times why not do something else that may be refreshing, like taking a quick walk? Think of your sleep as money in the bank. If you spend it in naps, you won't have it at night when you really need it.