Do not spend more than 30 minutes in bed if you cannot sleep. Get up and distract yourself by reading a book, or drink warm non-fat or 2 percent milk about half a cup which contains tryptophan and that converts into serotonin which has sedative properties and relaxes you. That is why people from older generations drank milk at night though they didn't know the science behind it, but it worked. Hope this helps you some.
1. try to give yourself time to unwind before going to sleep - rather than using an iPad or watching tv before bed, consider reading a book outside of bed and returning to bed only to sleep.
2. Limit emails, facebook, twitter and other interactive activities before bed - this way you won't have new information to ponder before going to sleep.
3. meditation can be very useful to help you fall asleep - meditation apps like Headspace or Om can be very helpful to reduce unnecessary distractions and reduce anxiety before bed, and to lull you to sleep.
4. limit caffeine intake overall and stop drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 or 3 pm.
5. If there are many issues weighing on your mind, try writing them down to 'purge' your mind.
6. Therapy can be helpful to explore the reasons for your anxiety and work towards resolutions.
It is important to ensure your bedtime environment is optimal for proper sleep. Avoid caffeine after 1 pm. Avoid watching or listening to TV in the bedroom or right before bed. Make sure the bedroom is cool and dark. If there are noises keeping you awake, try wearing ear plugs. Bright screens before bed can be too stimulating and cause more difficulty falling asleep. Avoid alcohol because alcohol can inhibit deep, restorative sleep and lead to multiple awakenings. Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to sleep and waking about the same time every day.
Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing can be helpful for sleep initiation. While deep breathing, try to allow your worries to gently flow by without trying to fight them. You can visualize this happening as if a worry is drifting on water, in one ear and out the other. You can shift your focus to a soothing word such as "peace."
Another helpful strategy is to write down the thoughts that are bothering you. Do the worries seem as important when you read them? Are any solutions coming to mind that you would like to remember? Write that down too. Some people find it helpful to write down the things they feel grateful for, shifting their focus to the positive aspects of their daily lives.
If these strategies are not enough, and the worrying and trouble falling asleep are associated with muscle tension, restless energy, irritable mood, excessive worry throughout the day, and trouble with daily functioning due to these symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder that may be identified and treated by your primary care physician or a psychiatrist.
Simply: Too much caffeine intake from coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sodas are the most common sleep disturbances. By limiting the intake the problem would improve in no time.
Alcohol is a major chemical that interacts with sleep cycles. At times, prescription drugs may cause sleep disturbance: antidepressants, stimulants are most common medications. They need to be moved to earlier times.
Heavy meals closer to the sleep time also disturbs/interrupts sleep.
Sleep is sensitive to daily stressors. During the idle time at night, thoughts may keep coming back and cause disturbance. First, all factors mentioned above (coffee, medications, alcohol) should be avoided. Then, sleep hygiene should be followed which require no blinking lights, no TV or music, no noise, animals, or snoring partners allowed in the room. Light exercise and light snacks prior to sleep are recommended.
Some over-the-counter medications are available as "sleep starters"
Some sleep disturbances are related to mental conditions. Excessive thinking, racing thoughts, no need for any sleep, or excessive energy all night could be a sign of a major mental condition such as Bipolar Disorder, and requires an assessment by a MH provider.
Hope it helps, and you feel better soon!