1. Make sure that you don’t eat anything at least two hours before bed.
Because digestion increases the fire energies of the body and will keep you awake make sure you’re not eating anything at least two hours prior to retiring for the night. During the late evening hours enzymatic activity of the body is lower and food will not digest as completely as during the day.
2. Try drinking some water 30 minutes before bed.
Since water cools the fire of the heart and strengthen the kidneys (the water organ) this will help to calm the conscious mind, slow down thinking and help you to fall asleep faster.
3. Try the Triple Burner sound of the Six Healings Sounds.
In Chinese medicine there is something called “The Six Healing Sounds”. One of these sounds for the Triple Burner helps to slow down the heart and calm the mind. By softly making the sound “Heeeeeeeee”, just like the word He but with the eeeee extended, you can help to slow down the heart, cool the fire, calm the mind and thus fall asleep much faster. This can be one of the most effective methods for insomnia.
4. Press on the Bubbling Wells point in the middle of each foot.
In acupuncture there is a point on the bottom of the feet that can help you fall asleep faster. It is located on the bottom of each foot along the centerline, about an inch north of center on the kidney meridians. Pressing on this point with moderate pressure for 30-60 seconds helps to strengthen the kidneys and thus the water chi of the body. This often results in falling asleep faster.
5. Practice short breath holding exercises.
In Chinese medicine the lungs are metal, so by practicing breath holding exercises we use the metal of the lungs to absorb the fire from the heart. Practice this by taking a moderately deep breath, then hold your breath for 3-5 seconds, then slowly exhale. Repeat this breathing exercise anywhere from 5-10 times or more and then try going back to sleep .
6. Try taking melatonin 1-2 hours before bed.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the human biological clock. Normally, the body makes melatonin for several hours per night – an effect best duplicated with time-release supplements. Studies using time-release melatonin have reported good results. Many doctors of natural medicine suggest 1-3 mg of melatonin taken one and a half to two hours before bedtime.
7. Take some proven herbal supplements before bed.
Herbs such as valerian root make getting to sleep easier. It has also been shown to increase the depth of sleep and the frequency of dreaming. Valerian does not cause a morning “hangover,” a side effect common to prescription sleep drugs and even melatonin in some individuals. A concentrated valerian root supplement in the amount of 300-400 mg can be taken 30 minutes before bedtime.
Combining valerian root with other mildly sedating herbs is common both in Europe and the U.S. Chamomile, hops, passion flower, lemon balm, skullcap, and catnip are commonly recommended by doctors of natural medicine.