I suffer from severe insomnia occasionally, usually following prolonged illness. I've gone for more than a week without a single wink of sleep.
I am not a doctor and the following should not replace or be construed as professional medical advice or treatment. However, this is what has worked
for me personally.
1) Exercise, to the point of exhaustion, during the day. Not shortly before bed. Otherwise it amps me up too much to sleep. Has to be hours before bed
2) Adequete electrolytes, especially potassium. I started eating more bananas and avocados, and lo and behold, my heart palpitations - a big part of
my insomnia - stopped.
3) In a pinch, a combination of low dose ibuprofen and diphenhydramine (benadryl.)
4) Open windows, take off shirt, and let myself become freezing cold. (Decreased body temperature really helps me get sleepy.) Then once I'm so cold
I'm shivering, snuggle under the covers and feel that sense of comfort and relief that comes with it.
5) Once sleepiness is clearly kicking in, meditation. Qigong breathing exercises in particular.
6) All artificial light sources turned off, and a sleep mask to block any residual light
7) Noise cancelling headphones, and a 10 hour recording of a box fan at a volume not loud enough to distract my easily distract-able brain, but not
too quiet that I can't hear it. Drowns out background noises.
8) Laying in my back, with arms raised above head, meeting at the wrists, and head back. This does something to my breathing I don't quite understand,
that causes my heart rate to lower dramatically.
9) Mental imagery. Whatever distracts fully, doesn't matter what. Let my mind wander, now without any external distractions thanks to aforementioned
This - USUALLY - works for me. Your mileage may vary.
Good luck, I'm very sorry to hear you're suffering from insomnia. It's exhausting and very stressful. I wish you pleasant rest asap.
edit on 9/9/2015 by AceWombat04 because: Typos