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Catching your Z’s with five easy household insomnia cures

Dec 13, 2011, 8:42 a.m.

Curing insomnia has been the lifelong pursuit of many an insomniac. If the search for natural insomnia cures has got you up all night, we've got a few tips for you that don't include sleeping pills or two-by-fours to the forehead to help you get some much needed shuteye.

  1. Cut out the caffeine. You knew this one was coming, right? Caffeine is a stimulant that a lot of people have convinced themselves they can't get by without. If that describes you and you'd just as soon forget about curing insomnia as doing without your joe, you can at least manage your habit better by drinking decaf or eliminating your caffeine intake to before noon.
  2. Limit your alcohol intake. Sure, just about everyone's experienced how easy it is to fall into a slumber once you've had a few too many. But far from making it onto the list of healthy natural insomnia cures , alcohol has been known to actually make insomnia worse and should be avoided at all costs as a method of getting to sleep.
  3. Get comfy. You'd be surprised at how many instances of insomnia are actually caused by the physical discomfort that can come as a result of sleeping on a mattress that's too firm or too soft. Try sleeping in a different bed to see how that helps your insomnia. Also, consider wearing earplugs to drown out ambient sounds that might be keeping you awake.
  4. The milk and cookies effect. You'll probably think this is bunk, or far too good to be true, but there's evidence that supports digesting sugar around bedtime can make you drowsy enough to put you down for the night without having to rely on expensive (not to mention dangerous) sedatives or sleep aids. Milk may also add to the effect because it contains tryptophan, which is also present in turkey and as everyone knows, can throw you for a loop if you've ingested enough of it.
  5. Put it down on paper. The point of having a sleep journal is twofold. First of all, it allows you to keep a log of which natural insomnia cures work better for you than others. Second, it can be mentally therapeutic to write out your frustrations, which can actually put you in a better mind-frame to get some richly deserved sleep. Try it out. The worst that can happen is that you succeed.

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