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Not sleeping at night is something we’ve all experienced at least once or twice. Your mind is racing and it takes forever to fall asleep. A sound is keeping you awake. You wake up and fall asleep multiple times throughout the night. Maybe you even find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and not going back to sleep. You might even be a person who doesn’t realize he has sleep apnea – a serious condition that can cause a lot of health complications. Regardless of the reason, you need to take action to nip your sleep issues in the bud.

Talk to a Doctor

First and foremost, talk to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any serious underlying concerns. One of my good friends ended up in the hospital for almost 2 weeks after going to the emergency room with really high blood pressure. Turns out his heart was racing and they found a host of heart and kidney related conditions – mostly, they think, caused by undiagnosed sleep apnea. A lack of sleep can cause stress, discomfort, fatigue, headaches, fuzziness, and even depression – not to mention serious cardiac conditions. Rule out any serious medical reasons before you do anything else.

Check Your Environment

Make sure there isn’t something in your environment that’s causing you issues. Is your room too warm or cold? Are you hearing traffic outside? Are your kids playing television shows or video games in another room? Some of these problems can be solved with simple soundproofing solutions. You might be able to caulk some cracks in your room seals, or you may need to do some more complex soundproofing. I, personally, found some acoustical caulk and mass loaded vinyl at and used it to fix up my own master bedroom because of the high traffic area I live in. It made a huge difference.

Lifestyle Changes

There are some simple lifestyle changes that might help you sleep better, too. Most experts say you should go to sleep at the exact same time every night and to make sure the routine is usually the same on the weekends. You should get up around the same time daily as well. Napping, while it can help you make up for the time you didn’t sleep, can also make your insomnia worse. If you really need to “make up for lost sleep” you should take a nap during the day; but if you have insomnia, you should try not to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time.

You need to make sure you’re winding down properly at night, too. Turn off the television and computer, put your cell phone away, and relax with a warm bath and a calming book. Dress comfortably and make sure you’re relaxing instead of irritating yourself.

Sleep is critical to your health and your ability to function. If you’re noticing a problem, take care of it ASAP. Procrastination will only make things worse.