If stress is keeping you up at night, "Real Simple"magazine put together six tips to help you get the sleep that you need . . .
1. Maintain a schedule. And make it STRICT . . . even on weekends. And if you allow yourself a half hour LESS sleep than you ACTUALLY need, you'll be more tired the next day, and you can break the cycle and fall asleep more easily.
2. Your bed should only be used for TWO things. And one of them is sleeping. Don't watch TV or surf the internet in bed.
3. Get some exercise each day. Ideally, about five to six hours before bed. Exercise raises your body temperature and it's easier to sleep when you're in the cooling down process.
4. Take an hour to wind down before bed. Your brain associates bright light with daytime and in response it releases stimulants. So dim the lights and stay away from your computer or ANY screens.
5. Eat a light snack about 30 minutes before bed. Something like cheese and crackers . . . with tryptophan . . . releases calming serotonin that relaxes you.
6. Use guided imagery. Experts recommend that you imagine yourself in a relaxing place, like a beach. You want to engage your senses, but not get overstimulated. That's why counting sheep doesn't always work.