13 Sleep Tips for When You Have Insomnia

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Are you one of the more than 50 million Americans who have trouble sleeping? Michael Breus, PhD, a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor, tells his patients: “Don’t wait until bedtime to start thinking about your nightly rest.”

Don’t stay in bed

After a restless night, the lure of the snooze button can be strong, but you’re better off getting up at your regular time in the morning. If your bedtime and wake-time schedule is erratic, you’re likely to experience social jet lag. That’s when your biological clock is out of sync with social time. Social jet lag comes with all the symptoms of regular jet lag, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and insomnia. Rising at the same time every morning strengthens circadian rhythms. You might have a low-energy day, but you’ll be ready to nod off when bedtime arrives. This is my number-one tip for people with insomnia. Check out these weird insomnia cures people have used throughout history.

Soak in morning sun

Exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning helps stimulate alertness, elevate energy, and lift mood. It can also help you rest better at night. Our circadian rhythms are strongly influenced by light exposure. “My mornings feel easier and I’m getting to bed earlier,” a patient told me after starting morning sun sessions. You don’t need a lot of sunlight in the morning. Just five minutes is enough to send a powerful message to your biological clock, a message that resonates all the way to bedtime. If morning sunlight isn’t an option, exposure to bright light indoors works, too. Don’t look directly into the sun, just be outside. Here are some more signs you’re not getting enough sunlight.

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