I read the latest post on Nature Mom's blog about exercise as the best sleep aid-- a very informative post-- and I urge others to read it too. I'm a big believer in exercise as a sleep-aid. I betcha it's the world's oldest, natural sleep aid. Heck, if you're exhausted, you just naturally sleep! You can even sleep standing or sitting straight up. I've watched my partner do this many a time after a long day of hard physical labor.
I rarely have a problem konking out after hitting my bed, but there are nights when (like many others) my mind is racing, and I too can't seem to fall off to sleep. It's not because of coffee before bedtime either. However, I'm never been tempted to get on any of the prescriptions advertised on television or in the magazines like Ambien or Lunesta. I've heard too many scary stories about people who've experienced adverse affects from these prescription drugs.
For awhile I was experiencing (along with my partner) night time leg cramps which would cause me to wake-up in the middle of the night to shake out the cramps, and then I would have a bit of a challenge returning to sleep. I discovered if I tired my eyes through reading (either on the computer or a particularly heavy-duty, serious book), I would get sleepy again. If all else fails, we have a couch, "our sleepy-time couch". This is an older, leather, forest green couch which we've had since the dark ages, but it's still in good shape. All one has to do is to lie down on this 'sleepy-time couch' and in less than fifteen minutes, you are absolutely, completely asleep. It is fool-proof, and we dare anyone with insomnia to defy the sleep-inducing quality of this couch. Even people who merely sit down on this couch somehow find themselves wanting to get prone. And even if you're not a bit tired or sleepy, you will become so lying on this couch.
We have conjectured WHY this couch is so sleep-inducing, and here's some of our wild speculations: a. there is a vortex at this specific location where the couch sits which pulls you magnetically downwards and inwards to dreamland b. the thought form of deep sleep has been left upon the couch by so many sleepy others which thus transmits this information to whomever sits or lies here, and c. our couch is haunted by sleepy-time ghosts. Your thoughts?