(This article previously appeared on Grandparents.com.)
Unless certain medical conditions or medications are the cause of your sleeplessness, the most common culprit is anxiety, says Lisa Meltzer, an education scholar for the National Sleep Foundation and associate professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo.
“If you’re anxious and worried, it’s very difficult to relax and fall asleep,” she says. “When you’re not sleeping well, you’ll be more anxious and you’ll have a harder time regulating emotion. It feeds on itself.”
Want to coax yourself into dreamland as soon as you hit the sack? Try the following scientifically supported methods, that include relaxation techniques, distraction exercises and more ways to prepare your body for slumber:
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