06/29/2005 10:25 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Removing Toxicity

The following conditions, situations, and factors may make a person more likely to suffer from insomnia, students concerned about exams: people working the night shift; frequent raveling; depression; stress stemming from any cause; chronic pain of any kind; taking medications – including, paradoxically, tranquilizers and sleeping pills; consumption of alcohol; and being overweight. Unless the primary problem is corrected, the insomnia is difficult to cure.

If you have restless slumber or find it difficult to fall asleep, then avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine, especially in the evenings. Nicotine from cigarette smoke also disturbs sleep. Exercise regularly, but not too late in the evening. Follow a regular routine and try to go to bed before 10:00 pm. Make sure that your bedroom is the right temperature for you, and that it’s not too hot or cold. Use your bed only for sleep or sex, and no other activity. If you read in bed or watch TV or do paperwork, your brain will associate those activities with your bed and your bedroom environment, and this may result in insomnia.

The principal concept is this: Most sleep disorders are the result of an imbalance in some other part of your life. Removing toxic elements from your life – be they in the form of substances you ingest (drugs, food, and so on), relationships, or other sources of stress – is the easiest and most effective way of making the sleep experience a pleasant one.