Are you concerned that you may not sleep well tonight? Getting a good night sleep is important to your health, but falling asleep easily and sleeping well are complex and can be interrupted by a wide range of factors.

Insomnia can be a symptom or a result of a serious medical condition. For example, sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, is a serious condition. If your insomnia is associated with other symptoms or is severe, please see a doctor. The suggestions and tips in this article are not medical advice and are not intended for anyone who is not healthy.

Try these ten suggestions to sleep better tonight...

1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and spicy foods. If you drink coffee in the afternoon or evening, make it decaf. An alcoholic drink may, or may not, help you fall asleep, but alcohol causes you to sleep poorly and be unable to sleep all night.

2. Don't overeat, but don't go to bed hungry. If you aren't allergic to milk, try a small glass of warm milk or a piece of mild cheese in the evening. A small piece of chicken or other protein may also work well before bed.

3. Drink enough water early in the day to hydrate well, which can help you avoid nighttime leg cramps and is generally good for your health. However, avoid water and other fluids for the last two hours before bedtime to reduce your need to go to the bathroom during the night.

4. Spend the two hours before bedtime quietly, without stress or stimulation. Read calming inspirational books or listen to soothing music. Avoid adventure books, stimulating or upsetting conversation, and especially do not watch any kind of television show before bed. Relax by taking a hot bath, practicing meditation or conscious breathing, doing gentle Yoga, Qigong, or progressive muscle relaxation. Repeat positive affirmations to replace worries about not sleeping with positive thoughts.

5. If you have aches and pains, massage the painful places - possibly with a pain-relieving gel - or better yet, ask your partner to massage you.

6. Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Consider using a sleep mask (eyeshade) if you can't make your bedroom dark enough.

7. Make your bedroom as quiet as you can. Consider using earplugs if your bedroom is noisy. Or try other alternatives... You may find that the white noise from a fan, as well as the air flow, helps you sleep better. Or you may find soft music or natural sounds like waves or bird songs relax you and induce sleep. If you use music to help you fall asleep, try improving your rest later in the night by setting the music to turn off after an hour.

8. Choose a comfortable temperature for sleep. Generally a room temperature slightly cooler than during the day, combined with a light cover, is best for good sleep. However, you may find that a colder room and heavier bedcovers work better... or a warmer room and no covers. Find the combination that works best for you. Make sure your feet are warm. If your feet are cold at night, wear socks to bed - and make sure they are not too tight around your ankles. Use a hot water bottle if your feet are cold when you first go to bed.

9. Experiment with different sleeping positions, and match the height of your pillow to the position you choose. For sleeping on your stomach or back, choose a thinner pillow. For side sleeping, choose a medium height pillow. If it is not already your preferred position, try sleeping on your right side while resting your top leg on an extra pillow for increased comfort.

10. If you can't fall asleep in 15 minutes, try counting breaths as you breathe deeply and slowly. If you are still awake after counting to two hundred, go to another room and do something relaxing, such as reading an inspiring book, until you feel sleepier.

Author's Bio: 

Read Jonathan's other articles on How to Sleep Better, How to Relieve Stress, and much more. Then sign-up for his Free Daily Inspiration - Daily Quote email.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie is the author of 100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love and other books on self-awareness, joyful living, and positive thinking.