Ask the Experts

My Brain Is Racing. How Can I Curb It?

“Can you give me a sleep plan? I have tried good sleep hygiene – sleeping in a dark, cool room, unplugging from electronics an hour before turning in – but my mind still races when my head hits the pillow. What can I do?”

I’m glad you are improving your sleep hygiene. I would also try learning a relaxation technique. This could be as simple as breathing, taught in many venues. Dr. Andrew Weil’s website has a good example: drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html.

I would also look into yoga or mindfulness-based stress reduction. Self-hypnosis is an excellent tool for putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep. You can either work with a practitioner or listen to an audiotape.

Melatonin works in bringing on sleep, as do other natural treatments like 5-HTP and valerian. Talk with your doctor about possibly using these supplements.

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