A recent Lifehacker article explored a number of techniques for getting better sleep. The part I found most interesting was the commentary about using sleep meds.
Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals can offer a short-term solution to a temporary bout of insomnia. And plenty of people use them. But often, prescription sleep aids come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, sore muscles, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and more. Add them all up, and they’re about as bad—if not worse–than your garden variety sleep deprivation.
The Sleep Catch 22
As you can see the very pills to supposedly help with sleep trigger side effects that also can make sleeping more difficult. If that weren't bad enough, your body builds up a tolerance for these pills when taken over time. This, in turn, pushes people to take more pills in order to compensate which triggers more side effects. This is exactly why it is best to try every other option first before going to sleeping pills.
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Most people aren't aware of the other options available. The best part is that you don't need to find a perfect solution. Finding just a couple of tricks that work partially can sometimes make a huge difference. I like to explore lists of tips and tricks exactly because everyone is different and what will work depends upon the individual. Often, the best tip may be something “obvious.” However, if you haven't tried it, you won't know whether it might be your silver bullet.
I explore 74 of these tips in my book. Here are a few:
- Slow Down Your Breathing
- Replace Your Pillow Every 12 to 18 Months
- Keep Your Room Clean
- Use Sleep Fragrances
- Dust Your Room
- Use Flashlights in the Middle of the Night
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