Step 1: Establish a Schedule
Your body rests best when it gets into a regular sleep-wake cycle.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends.
Eventually your body will get better at “knowing” when it's time to sleep and when it's time to get up.
Step 2: Follow a Routine
Do the same things in the same order every night.
Following a pre-bed ritual trains your brain and reminds you that sleep is coming soon.
Step 3: Things to Avoid
Food creates energy, and big meals can trigger indigestion and heartburn – both of which can keep you up.
Alcohol – even small amounts – can cause disruptive sleep and an early rise.
The nicotine in cigarettes is a potent drug that acts as a stimulant for some and can contribute to poor sleeping patterns.
Caffeine – Of course not.
And while 30 minutes of exercise each day will help you sleep at night, make sure it's at least three hours before bed.
Step 4: Setting the Stage for Sleep
Keep your bedroom cool – but not cold – and as dark as possible.
Fans, humidifiers and white-noise machines also help drown out little noises that could distract or wake you.
Avoid doing any work or paying bills in your bed or bedroom. Those stresses can spill over into your mind when it's time to sleep.
Step 5: Clear Your Mind
Insomnia sufferers often complain that a flurry of thoughts enters their mind the minute their head hits the pillow.
Instead, try some relaxation techniques. Focus on your breathing. Imagine your body floating in a pool of water. Let your arms and legs go limp. Begin counting sheep… one…two…three…