First of all if you're having difficulty falling asleep, don't stay under the covers in hopes of somehow becoming drowsy, Nitun Verma, M.D., an Indian-origin sleep specialist and the medical director of the Washington Township Center for Sleep Disorders in Fremont, California said.
"You don't want to lie in bed and frown your eyebrows and force yourself to sleep. That almost universally backfires," the Huffington Post quoted Dr. Verma as saying.
Instead, get up and try to find an activity that is somewhere between stimulating and boring, like reading a few chapters from a favorite book.
After you've done that for a while, get back into bed and see if it puts an end to insomnia.
Having a late-night cocktail or glass of wine just before bedtime might seem like the perfect way to drift into dreamland, but it's not a good solution.
Though you may initially be sleepy from the alcohol, once it wears off you'll likely wake up several times during the night.
A smart solution to avoid insomnia - cut off all alcoholic beverages several hours before you plan to go to bed.
Don't indulge in late-night web surfing. The light that emanates from the gizmos can actually keep you alert when you should be getting sleepy.
To avoid this effect, begin dimming all the lights in your house three hours before bedtime and put away the electronics completely.
Avoid caffeine as its effects can last many hours after you sip.
In fact, it takes about 6 hours for half of the caffeine you take in to be eliminated by your body.
To keep you from singing the sleepless latte blues, limit your daily caffeine intake to a moderate amount (about three 8-ounce cups of coffee) and stop consuming caffeinated beverages or foods well before the evening.
Don't work out late at night. Exercising within 2 hours of bedtime can thwart your sleep by keeping your body temperature higher than it should be.
Wrap up your treadmill and iron-pumping sessions by the early evening at the latest to avoid paying the price of sleeplessness later.
And lastly don't work in bed. It may seem efficient to pay bills or answer your work e-mail from the comfort of your bed, but turning your sleeping space into a miniature office can have serious drawbacks.
Reserve your bed exclusively for sleep and sex, and you may find yourself getting more restful shut-eye at night.