There are many books available on relaxation and sleep. If you have a chronic sleep problem, I will assume that you have done some reading in this area and are familiar with the fundamentals. What I can add is some extra tips that may not have come to your attention. Remember to let your body be the final judge regarding what is good for you.

Meditate and pray.

Eliminate caffeine.

Exercise to your tolerance.

Make time to play.

Get some eucalyptus oil from a health food store and put a few drops on the top of your pillow before bedtime. Don’t put it anywhere near where your eyes will be. Start with one drop and increase the amount depending on your tolerance.

Try ginseng, either Korean or Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus).

Get enough restful, restorative sleep.

Drink a cup of chamomile tea.

Try the amino acid GABA, 750 mg one hour before bedtime. This has a similar effect to the benzodiazepine sleeping pills as to naturally stimulates the same receptor sites.

Try melatonin 0.5 to 6 mg, one to two hours before bedtime. Melatonin is made naturally by the pineal gland in the brain and the amount made naturally decreases with age. (Highly recommended.)

The herb valerian is the most commonly used sleep aid in Europe.

There is a special mattress pad called the Cuddle Ewe Bed Underquilt. It can be ordered by calling Phillips Products at 800-705-5559. It provides a comfortable soft layer and helps regulate body temperature.

The essential oils Vetiver and Lavender have sedative properties. Lavender is subtle but long lasting. Vetiver usually works quickly. Put a few drops on your pillow at night. Experiment with quantity. Do not use on skin or internally.

Try an environmental sound such as the sound of the ocean or a running stream at a low background level during sleep.

Some people have benefited from human growth hormone (hGH). Some people have reported dramatic success with insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It comes in two forms. The first is the pure hormone which is available only in an injectable form by prescription. The second contains no hormone but rather a group of amino acids and other nutrients that stimulate the body to produce growth hormone naturally. These substances are called secretagogues. One source is Novus Research, and the product is called Pro-Symbio PLUS, telephone 888-872-8893. One of the claims is that growth hormone reverses the aging process in many ways in addition to promoting restorative sleep.

North Dakota State University Experiment Longevity Report 33, page 4 By Douglas Skrecky – Recently one of the causes of aging has been discovered by medical researchers. In an experiment at North Dakota State University 19-month-old aged mice were given an injection of either growth hormone or saline twice a week. After 13 weeks of treatment 39% of the saline mice were still alive. This is normal. Of the growth hormone treated mice 93% were still alive after 13 weeks. This is not normal at all. The injections were then stopped for 6 weeks. During this period all of the remaining saline treated mice died of old age while only 1 out of 20 mice that had received growth hormone expired. The researchers then reinstituted growth hormone injections in the remaining 19 animals for a further 6 weeks. At the end of the experiment 18 mice were still alive. Experiments with aged humans have confirmed that the administration of growth hormone brings about signs of rejuvenation such as reduction of adipose tissue, as well as increases in growth hormone insulin-like growth factor 1, muscle mass, bone density and skin thickness.

Try a bedtime ritual such as reading or working a crossword puzzle.