Self-help rules for people who suffer from insomnia


1. Avoid cat-naps during the day

2. Reduce caffeine intake coffee, tea, cola etc) especially later in the day.

3. Beware alcohol; it relaxes you at first, but has a rebound awakening effect some hours later.

4. if you smoke, do stop – loads of reasons for this outside of insomnia.

5. Take daily exercise, but not in the few hours before retiring.

6. Establish a routine; go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning.

7. Avoid rich or heavy meals in the few hours before bed-time

8. If you lie awake worrying about your problems deal with them earlier; write down on paper each problem and what you propose to do about it. The close the “worry file” on that problem.


Do not worry about how much sleep you need; your body is pretty smart and will generally lo9ok after itself. Even just lying in bed in the dark will generally restore you.

10. Some people benefit from a pre-bedtime warm bath, milky drink or soothing music.

11. If you can’t sleep just read in a dim light until you feel sleepy. Do not watch television.

12. Some people are very sensitive to certain foodstuffs; if all else fails, try excluding the following foods (except for breakfast): cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, greasy or fried foods.


Good Luck

Bernard Shevlin