Not getting a good night's sleep is an increasingly common problem. Indeed, it's one with which I personally am familiar, having spent hours awake in bed, my mind buzzing with the demands of the day ahead. I have, however, successfully resolved this issue and would like to share some ideas.

Lifestyle Changes

Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by our brain as part of our circadian, or daily rhythm. Nervous system chemicals such as melatonin and cortisol tell our minds and bodies when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. By keeping regular sleep hours, the natural circadian rhythms are strengthened, which helps us fall asleep more easily. This is especially true if you have different schedules on different days of the week. If you're used to getting up at 6 am on weekdays to go to work but sleep in until 10 am on weekends, your circadian rhythms change as - no wonder you're tired on Monday morning!

Diet

It should be obvious, but some people forget that coffee is not the only drink containing caffeine. Tea (black, not herbal), chocolate and cola drinks are also high in caffeine. Try and avoid all caffeine containing drinks after midday at the latest. Alcohol may feel like it's soothing you, but all it's doing is stupefying you. Research has shown that alcohol upsets sleep, preventing a deep rest. Same with tobacco. Avoid them all.

Soothe Your Mind With Bedtime Music

Try playing some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are many CDs designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat. Some will lead you to sleep with a combination of music, voice and other soothing sounds. Personall I found the Norwegian ambient music of Biosphere worked for me, but probably not to everyones taste!

Crystal Help

A number of crystal gemstones that have been cited as stones to alleviate sleep related problems.

Black Tourmaline

Tourmaline's uses are as unique as its properties. It is a semi-precious mineral made of a variety of elements, including aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium and lithium . It also is found in a wide spectrum of colours, including black, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, brownish-yellow, pink and rose red. The long, column-like crystals are the only known mineral on Earth to exhibit three-sided prisms, as most crystals have multiple facets.

Black Tourmaline may work in this way: it is considered a grounding stone. It is very effective in manipulating energy fields, and is an optimal conductor of electricity. Black Tourmaline develops opposite electric charges at either end of the stone when it is heated.

It is said to rub black tourmaline for luck and happiness because it is an extremely lucky stone. When the tourmaline is rubbed it becomes charged with magnetic electricity and the luck is easily attracted.

Black Tourmaline is capable of being a sort of grounding circuit to earth's shifting energetic field, so that it helps attune your energies to a more peaceful frequency. By helping to alleviate the feelings of stress and negativity you can naturally feel more relaxed and let go of the subconscious fears that are making you have the nightmares in the first place.

In fact, healers think that black tourmaline is so powerful a frequency-tuning stone that it can help get through even the most challenging times. They believe that Black Tourmaline pushes all negativity away because of its powerful electrical conductivity.

However, if you experience sleep disturbance after putting a black tourmaline by your bedside, you may have more sensitivity to this energy. Consider moving it across the room or mounting it near the room's entrance.

Smoky Quartz

smoky quartz is another grounding stone that transmutes negative energies. These negative energies can be caused by thoughts and worries, and can be a major cause of restless sleep and nightmares.

smoky quartz facilitates your ability to get things accomplished and move through your day in a practical and organized way. In theory, this would naturally assist in easing and freeing the mind when it is time to rest.

It increases organizational skills and is good to have in both the home and workplace. When one is organized in an optimal way it is easier to manage a more stable and less frenetic life, which naturally promotes good sleeping habits.

smoky quartz is a protection stone that cleans and eliminates negative energy, so put a smoky quartz crystal in your home or office to maintain a clean and grounded atmosphere.

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is pink quartz that is often called the "Love Stone". It is promotes the feelings of unconditional love that opens the heart chakra to all different kinds of love which can be self-love, family love, platonic love, and romantic love. The high energy inherent in quartz gives rose quartz the property of enhancing love and also to reduce stress levels that can block peaceful rest at night.

Rose Quartz is a very soothing and happy stone and increases these vibrational qualities that are naturally present in all of us, but that we tend to block with our day to day concerns.

Emotionally rose quartz brings gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance. It can raise one's self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It helps to balance emotions and heal emotional wounds and traumas, even grief, bringing forth peace and calm. This can greatly relieve the subconscious scars and things that hold us in a sad or static place. These hidden traps of circular and habitual thinking can enormously impede the transition from wakefulness to a sleep inducing relaxation.

Amethyst

Amethyst is purple quartz, and is a meditative and calming stone. Emotionally, amethyst can help heal personal losses and grief.

Additionally, Amethyst has a gently sedative energy that enhances the feelings of happiness, peacefulness. It works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide the feelings of calm, balance, patience, and most importantly for a good night's sleep, serenity.

Amethyst is also believed to be beneficial when dealing with legal problems and money issues, which can promote prosperity and abundance, clearly alleviating another major cause of sleepless nights!

Healers say that Amethyst can help eliminate addictions (alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.) and compulsive behaviors of all kinds because it brings emotional stability and inner strength. Amethyst can help you feel stronger and more internally centered, thus you are naturally more flexible and cooperative. This promotes a less stressful pattern of interaction with others. Agitation and nervous energy is brought along in to the night hours, but when a more serene way of interpreting the events of our lives can be achieved, sleep naturally follows.

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