I read something within a list on the Big Mama blog that has helped me a lot. I thought I would share it, under helpful hints to know and share. Big Mama had a link to an article about this technique and I am too lazy to look all of that up, but I thought I would share how it has helped me and if you really want to know about all of it, you can find it somehow on the interwebs.
The article extolled a method to fall asleep 4-8-9. Breathe in deeply while counting to 4. Hold your breath for 8 counts. Exhale for 9 counts. As I recall the article talked about stressed people not breathing deeply enough and releasing some kind of natural sleep aide within your body when you breathe slowly and deeply like this.
I have long had difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep and falling asleep again during the night. I have read almost every article on sleeping I have come across. I have tried almost everything suggested to get a good night's sleep. I have cut down caffeine and eliminated it after 4pm even de-café. I don't talk about upsetting topics in bed or an hour before bedtime. I stretch, take a warm shower, pray, sleep warm (socks and heated mattress pad), and take a non-prescription sleep aide. But, sometimes I still can't fall asleep until about midnight. Sometimes I can't go back to sleep after awaking during the night. Most of the time I am sleep deprived and I am not able to nap.
I tried the breathing. I wasn't really expecting it to work. Big Mama said that it didn't work for her. I have tried some sort of breathing thing before and it didn't work. But, this worked. It really works for me. I have gotten a better night's sleep since I have tried this. I have gotten so that I say a rote prayer while breathing instead of counting. I usually find that after 5 or so of these deep breaths I fall asleep.
Helpful hints to know and share--just breathe.