Don't accept this
The first recourse
Implement the strategies
    What is needed for success
    Develop the key sub-skills necessary to master sleeping
    Sleep preparation habits
    Add to sleep inducers
    Medical intervention
    Stress hormones
    Incessant thinking


Ongoing insomnia ravages the body and the mind, impairing daytime function and spiraling downward into more and more chronic effects.  If you have insomnia you absolutely must be totally integrous with following the practices and rules that lead toward good sleep and body relaxation, including keeping one's body in balance all day.


The first place to go is to the doctor and/or a sleep specialist.  And you'll probably have to be very proactive to get the right solution rather than the standard drug fallbacks that the doctors prescribe, frequently with some unacceptable side effects (though it is all a trade-off of costs versus benefits).

If your insomnia is due to a chemical (or a drug) that causes this effect, ask your doctor best way to handle this.  Find out what is the chemical action.  Ask:    How long does the drug stay in the system?  Effect on GABA levels?  Effect on glutamate levels?


What is needed for success

Basically, just do  the opposite of "awake"!

Not to minimize the problem and its great effects nor the difficultness of curing insomnia, it is essential that one not let oneself down by doing anything less than all that can be done.  People slip back on implementing the sub-skills, such as relaxation, meditation, and peace of mind skills; they stop using the proper preparation practices; they stop doing all they can; and some even give up and accept it - this is a test of one's responsibility levels and one's tendency to slip into victimhood (and apathy).  Do the 100% Commitment

Become an expert!

Are you up to it?

Develop the key sub-skills necessary to master sleeping



Peace Of Mind

Napping (less than 45 minutes to avoid going into Stage 3 sleep)

Sleep preparation habits (See Sleep Main Page.)

Exercise regularly at least 20 minutes daily, ideally 4-5 hours before your bedtime.

Keep a regular sleep and awakening schedule.  Establish a pre-bedtime routine.

Do not drink caffeinated beverages later than the afternoon (tea, coffee, soft drinks etc.)  Avoid "night caps," (alcoholic drinks prior to going to bed). Avoid nicotine and all stimulants.

Do not go to bed hungry.  But no large meals within 3 hours, and avoid excessive fluid intake.  Do a little snack, to generate some calming serotonin.

No tv within an hour of bed.

Lower the lights.

If you do not fall asleep within 20-30 minutes, try a relaxing activity such as listening to soothing music or reading.

Use daytime naps to keep body in a non-exhausted state, as an exhausted, worn-out, tense body does not sleep well.

Avoid being hyper three hours before sleep (no stimulating activities).

Add to sleep inducers

Melatonin (even if not effective before).  One particular benefit of melatonin is that it can treat insomnia without altering the sleep pattern which is altered by many prescription sleeping tablets. Another benefit is it does not impair performance related skills.

Some insomniacs use herbs such as valerian, chamomile, lavender, hops, and passion-flower.

Medical intervention

You should be able to train yourself to overcome insomnia, even if chemically induced.  But while training in and mastering the sub-skills, you may have to accept medical intervention, being sure to stop it as soon as you can, though.

The antihistamine diphenhydramine is widely used in nonprescription sleep aids the effectiveness of these agents may decrease over time and the incidence of next-day sedation is higher than for most of the newer prescription drugs. Dependence does not seem to be an issue with this class of drugs.

Make sure you have adequate magnesium, take a small supplement.

Over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamines that can induce drowsiness. But antihistamines may reduce the quality of your sleep, and they can cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness, dry mouth and blurred vision.

Stress Hormones

The most common cause of insomnia is stress hormones that keep the brain on emergency alert.  Rather than knocking oneself out with powerful drugs, it is better to use adoptogenic herbs, like ginseng, licorice root, rhodiola, ashwagandha and schisandra.   These reduce the stress hormones directly.   

Incessant thinking

Being awake "thinking" - As with the necessary general practice with all negative thoughts or overactive thinking, tell yourself that you do not have to resolve anything while you sleep and that it is not very useful and that you'll deal with it when you're awake if it comes up.  Knowing you are committed to dealing with issues thoroughly when they come up is comforting to the potentially worrying mind. If I know I will deal with it, I can then just relax and control my thought focus by simply watching my breath and letting the rhythm be deep and slow, and perhaps relaxing any "holding" in the body.  That will reduce my brain waves down to alpha so that I am set up to sleep.

RESOURCES - Comprehensive - Be sure to answer their questionnaire in Preparing For Your Appointment.   Also be sure to follow its page on Lifestyle And Home Remedies.