Sleeping pharmaceuticals are out there in abundance, but evidently most have negative side-effects (some dangerous). Instead, here are some suggestions –
The hyperactive brain of the chronic over-achiever is a big issue. All that ruminating shifts the brain into a high alert mode. One might ask himself a rational rather than emotionally charged question such as, “Is this imperative (and even if it is) must I figure out how to do it right now?” The “all or nothing” attitude can be an enemy of peace of mind and sleep. Stress releases chemicals that arouse the nervous system.
Take time to process you thoughts calmly and rationally during the day rather than leaving them until bedtime (or even shortly before).
The body naturally releases melatonin (which helps induce sleep) when there is less light. Even television screens, computer screens, cell phone screens, etc. are read by the brain as daylight just as lighted lamps are. Turn these off about an hour before bedtime.
Take a warm shower or bath a while before bedtime. After it your body will cool down, making you sleepy. This is because your body temperature automatically drops to its lowest level later at night in sleep and this mimics that.
Melatonin can be taken to aid sleep, but too much can cause sleep problems such as nightmares and depression in some people. Please consult your doctor before taking this or any other supplement and learn from him the correct amount to use.
Set a time to get up and a time to go to bed and stick to it. Getting up and going to bed randomly upsets the body’s internal clock.
Limit liquids after 6 PM to only 1 or 2 glasses of water. Getting up to go to the bathroom can make it hard to get back to sleep.
Being overweight can cause or exacerbate air passage obstruction (for seconds at a time) which causes one to awaken again and again, amounting to sleep apnea. This may be occurring if one is very drowsy during the day, snores, or is overweight. It is difficult to reach the very important deep sleep level under such conditions as well. Those with this problem should not sleep on the back as this allows the soft palate to hang in a way that can obstruct breathing. Instead, sleep on the side which opens air ways. Propping a pillow in front and behind will help keep you in that position.
Women in menopause and having hot flashes may repeatedly wake up with night sweats. Sleeping with the thermostat at about 68 degrees F, with a light covering, and light clothing are a help. This is very much an issue now that hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be related to cancer in some. Healthier means must be used.
The last does not come from the article, but I know it works. As a Christian, I can (and do) ask God’s direction and aid in every area in my life. I cast my cares on the Lord (even if I have to do so again and again throughout the day). As a friend of mine once said, “I keep putting it on the altar, but it keeps crawling off again”. Still it is worth the effort. Then at bedtime, I ask Jesus to watch over my dreams and enable me to sleep very soundly, very soon. It has worked for me for years. Even if I need to get up at night I am back asleep in no time and am evidently sleeping soundly. – Just a thought.