Over the years, one of the most common explanations I have heard from my patients as to why they think they cannot fall asleep is that their mind is “racing” as they organize the next day’s events, plan for meals, or worry about something that may or may not happen in the next few days. Occasionally it helps if they write down these things after dinner, so that their mind will not automatically start to organize their day when they should be relaxing and drifting off to sleep.

A sudden bout of insomnia or sleeplessness can also arise after a traumatic event, such as a death, divorce, or loss of employment. Often these cases take less time to heal and the patient is sleeping better after a few weeks with the help of naturopathic medicine such as homeopathy, botanical medicine, acupuncture and counseling.

Simple tips to help you have a better night’s rest is to turn off the TV, computer or cell phone at least 60 minutes before you’d like to be asleep, so that your mind can begin to wind down. Some people use this time to do something that is relaxing, such as reading, knitting, meditation, taking a bath or playing with a pet. Cover up your alarm clock so that you cannot see the time if you wake up throughout the night, and make sure your room is completely dark when you lie down to go to sleep to help make melatonin.