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Rethinking Insomnia

October 18, 2009

yawning puppyNothing can ruin your day more thoroughly than not sleeping the night before.  Lack of sleep can muddle thinking, make you emotionally vulnerable and turn things that are normally fun into grueling chores. (Apparently, it has no effect on cuteness, however, judging by the puppy at right.)

Even though sleep is vitally important to good health, millions of us regularly struggle either to fall asleep or stay there for more than a few hours at a time.

The pharmaceutical industry caught on to this problem a while ago. Their solution: expensive, not very effective sleep aids with some notoriously nasty side effects.

Herbal remedies — valerian, hops, verveine — offer milder alternatives, but don’t work for everyone.

I was beginning to wonder if insomnia might be one of those things you just have to live with, when I ran across this article by personal motivation consultant and author Anne Naylor at Huffington Post. It’s called “Five Keys for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep.” As soon as I read it, I knew she wasn’t kidding.

In most articles about sleep, the five keys would be useless cliches like “Don’t drink caffeine before bedtime” (duh) and “Don’t exercise before bed” — common sense suggestions that I’ve never found to be very helpful. But not in this case. Anne’s five keys are based on a whole new way of looking at sleep and insomnia. Definitely worth a read for anyone who has trouble nodding off.

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