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Ways to minimise insomnia

?? What's the biggest difference between someone who comes to a therapist suffering from insomnia and one who doesn't? They worry about it more.

Having a few nights of poor sleep happens to most people at some time or other. A stressful day, physical discomfort, some upcoming concern. Poor sleep hygiene.

The ingredients that contribute to healthy sleeping are:

Preparing yourself mentally. Rather than dreading the ordeal of getting off to sleep, imagine sleeping easily and waking up refreshed.

Develop a regular routine. Our body likes routine.

if you are a coffee drinker, confine it to the early part of the day. Coffee has a half life of approximately six hours meaning that if you drink it at noon, there will still be a quarter of it in your system at midnight.

Avoid eating too late. Ideally allow 3 hours between eating and going to bed. Eating revs up the metabolism and also raises body temperature. We sleep best when our body temperature drops by about a degree.

Regular exercise is good but also revs up the metabolism so avoid exercise near to bedtime.

Alcohol - as well as being a depressant - also disturbs sleep - usually causing you to wake in the early hours.

Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated. A temperature of about 18C is ideal.

Get a decent mattress.

Know that you are already likely to be sleeping more than you think.

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