A recent National Sleep Foundation poll reports that American insomnia rates have increased from 51% to 64% in the last few years. Insomnia can wreak havoc on the health and lives of its sufferers, causing excessive daytime sleepiness and extreme lack of energy.

The sleep-deprived can become irritable and depressed and may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning and remembering. Insomnia can contribute to accidents with machinery, accidents from poor balance, and accidents on the road while driving.

Some people find it easier to fall sleep at the beginning of the night, but then wake up in the middle of the night and can not get back to sleep. The causes of this may come from hormonal changes, insufficient exercise, eating foods that are disagreeable, drinking alcohol, or general increase in stress. Whether it's at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 am, they find themselves habitually awake and unable to get back to sleep. Here are some sleep tips that may help:

1. Use a black eye mask to cover your eyes and use earplugs to keep the noise out. A dark, cool room is most ideal to help the body produce melatonin, the hormone produced by the brain which helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles. A recent study found that a cooler body temperature signals the body to fall sleep.

2. Get some sunlight by taking a walk during the day. Being out in the sun will also set one's wake-sleep cycle in a good way. Additionally, the exercise and body movement helps with a better, more restful sleep at night.

3. If headaches or tension are a problem, try using some magnesium. One German study found that 42 percent of the people taking magnesium reduced the duration and intensity of their migraine headaches.

4. For women that experience hot flashes and night sweats during the night, take some extra steps to keep yourself and your bedroom cool at night. Wear lighter bedclothes, use less blankets, and use a slightly damp washcloth on the forehead or neck.

5. Calcium is directly related to the cycles of sleep, there is highly absorbable calcium and magnesium supplements are effective. The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis advises that during premenopause or menopause, the lack of estrogen and progesterone can cause sever calcium deficiency symptoms to occur such as irritability, leg cramps, insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats.

6. It can work well for some people to take a calcium and magnesium supplement directly before bed. These minerals are natural relaxants that can carry one through the night better and with less sleep interruptions. Softgels that use natural oils mixed with the minerals are more fully absorbled than tablets. These supplements should have a two to one calcium to magnesium ratio (twice as much calcium as magnesium).

Here's to getting back to sleep at night and sleeping deer and longer.