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by SixFigureStart | February 19, 2009


sleepOne thing you can be sure of when you’re tossing and turning at 4 a.m. is that you’re not alone: The recession is keeping everyone up.

A study by Compass Bank found that 38 percent of respondents were having trouble sleeping due to financial worries. ComPsych commiserated, adding that cost of living and credit card debt were the biggest concerns. The Journal of Sleep conducted a study of women under financial strain and found they weren’t sleeping. Others are starting to pick up on the story of the Unsleeping.

So what should you do about it? You could ask Facebook. A recent status update from Federated Media CEO John Battelle asked, “So who out there has trouble sleeping? I often cannot turn off the brain” and was flooded with responses within minutes.

Whatever’s keeping you up, consider trying these strategies to help you get a good night’s sleep in a pinch (without resorting to sleep clinics or expensive prescription drugs). Got others? Leave a comment.

    • Sudoku till it hurts.
    • Booze.
    • Warm bath.
    • Red wine and a boring book.
    • Hot milk with sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
    • Snuggling up with the Sleep Sheep, a soft, stuffed animal with a white-noise maker inside of it (though you might want to hide this during the day).
    • Sleep masks.
    • Tensing and releasing every muscle, starting with your feet and working your way up.
    • Turning off the computer at 5 p.m. (Sounds crazy? So is staying up all night.)
    • Keeping the lights on — “the darkness seems to encourage me to keep thinking.”
    • “I give myself a good facial massage and then foot massage and then scan the body from bottom to top to see what is uncomfortable. Then I just follow my breath and breathe into the spaces that are uncomfortable. Really, after two minutes of paying close attention to my breath, my mind is clear and I am out like a light.”
    • Listening to a music CD for sleep such as Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s Alpha Relaxation System.
    • Turning off overhead lights and gradually turning down other light sources an hour to two hours before sleep.
    • Spraying sheets and pillows with lavender water, which promotes relaxation.
    • Drinking chamomile tea.
    • Doing a nighttime yoga routine for relaxation.

If none of that works, well, your resume could probably use some updating.

--Posted by Laura Rich,

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