I always come to work exhausted because I lose sleep several nights a week. How do I get some shut-eye?
You're not alone. A Harvard Medical School study of the ailment found 23 percent of U.S. workers suffer from insomnia. Besides difficulty falling, or staying, asleep, the condition also includes a poor quality of sleep that makes whatever rest you manage to get somehow feel more exhausting than refreshing.
I can suggest a trio of steps that should help you nod off. First, follow a regular sleep/wake schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning, even on weekends and vacations. Next, set up a regular routine before bedtime. For example, listening to soft music, brushing your teeth, and setting the alarm clock can establish a calming preamble for sleep.
Last, make your environment conducive to rest. Your bedroom should be kept dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Wearing earplugs, using a white-noise machine or a fan, or installing heavy curtains in the bedroom (to block outside noise and light) can help. This entire routine should be followed every night, at home or away, because over time you'll associate it with enjoying a restful slumber.
If your sleep deprivation persists, I recommend you see your doctor to assess the situation because, as the 17th century dramatist Thomas Dekker wrote, "[S]leep is … that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together."