If you can't sleep, try meditation and deep relaxation techniques. They can help insomniacs and poor sleepers, researchers have discovered - but there's one unusual aspect to their approach.
Although you would expect people to meditate just before they went to bed, researchers found that it works far better if they do so during the daytime, hours before bedtime.
The research team from the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Illinois discovered that insomniacs suffer from 'hyperarousal' all the time - and meditating during the day helps break the cycle.
Eleven chronic insomniacs tried Kriya Yoga, a form of meditation that reduces levels of arousal, for two months before replacing that with a course of health education, which included better diet, exercise, weight loss and stress management.
But, say the researchers, the meditation was far more effective.
(Source: 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, June 8, 2009).