Kyle, 30, can’t sleep at night. He works all day as a cab driver in St. Louis, Missouri and when he gets home at night to try to relax and go to sleep he discovers that he feels more awake then he has all day. Most nights he lies in bed for 4 to 5 hours before falling asleep and some nights he can’t sleep at all. What can Kyle do to help him fall asleep?
Harry: Kyle, do you drink coffee, take stimulants, or nap during the day?
Harry: Do you watch TV in your bedroom or read before bed?
That’s good. For the rest of my audience, if you’re having trouble sleeping, make sure you’re not drinking anything with caffeine, taking stimulants, or napping. Don’t watch TV, don’t even read a book. That’s a common misconception, that you should read in bed to wind down before going to sleep, but that’s totally false. Make sure you’re not using your bed and bedroom for anything but sleep. But, that’s obviously not what’s keeping you from sleeping.
Harry: What I think the problem may be is stress.
Kyle: I lay in bed and I think. I think that’s the main problem.
When you have racing thoughts like your describing, you’re definitely not going to be able to sleep. Instead of going home right after work, go to the gym. You need to exercise. Lift heavy weights. Your muscles will get burnt out and you’ll get tired.
I’m sorry to tell you, Kyle, but you’re not moving your body at all. Your a cab driver, so your left foot is probably getting the most exercise. I want you to do 30 to 45 minutes of resistance training, weight training. If you’re worried that working out after work will wake you up, do it in the morning. Exercise 3 to 5 days a week.
Also, if you need over-the-counter Melatonin, it’s a natural supplement people take to help when they don’t feel tired at night. Don’t take Tylenol PM or those other chemical medications. But, mainly, I want you to work out to get you tired at night.