Take a Break

A Better Way to Fight Insomnia

Last updated: Jul 27, 2011

wake up refreshed

A recent Archives of Internal Medicine study suggests that behavioral changes, rather than medications, can be the best way to resolve insomnia. Researchers advise four basic steps:

  • Reduce the amount of time spent in bed. Stay in bed only for sleep or sexual activity.

  • Get up at the same time every day, regardless of sleep duration.

  • Do not go to bed unless sleepy.

  • Do not stay in bed unless asleep.

If you're feeling sluggish and low by day, avoid flopping on the bed. Instead, try a quick acceleration of your heart rate as the best way to get a quick energy boost. Walk or jog up and down the stairs a few times, take a walk around the block if you can, follow an exercise DVD, lift hand weights, or just dance in your kitchen. You'll help yourself sleep better come nightfall.

-- Paula Spencer Scott