Sleep. What is that? We all know how life is. For me personally, I have work, college and the largest job of all Im the mother to three children. By the time I get home, I have two hours until the children go to bed and I get to attack other responsibilities.

By the time I get to bed Im feeling amped and lay in bed making mental lists of things to do and organizing the next day.

Sleep is an important factor in the Triad Program. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Poor sleep habits (referred to as hygiene) are among the most common problems encountered in our society. We stay up too late and get up too early. We interrupt our sleep with drugs, chemicals and work, and we overstimulate ourselves with late-night activities such as television.

As someone who has had a long battle with sleep deprivation, I finally found some tips on fixing my sleeping habits. The first trick is adjusting my personal sleeping environment.

My first sleep rule is to eliminate all activity from the bedroom other than what it is actually meant for. This means that I will not have any electronics in my room other than my alarm. The University of Pennsylvania found that people who watched television in the two hours before their bed time had the tendency to stay awake later than when they were feeling tired.

My second rule is to physically change my environment. I picked dark, thick curtains to block out any ambient lighting from outside at night. I have also started using incense and candles with relaxing scents. I would recommend lavender, chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood and mandarin.

The third rule is that I will follow the same ritual every night before bed. The first part of my ritual will be eating a snack before bed. Certain foods and beverages contain properties that help you sleep. A few of the foods and drinks that I have chosen for my night snack include almonds, tea, miso soup, bananas, yogurt, milk, cheese, oatmeal and hard cooked eggs.

The second part of my ritual will be doing a relaxing activity prior to sleep. The three options that I have found to work the best is reading, yoga or taking a warm bath.

The final part of my ritual is focusing on the tension in my body and working each area to relax. You do not realize how much you clench your muscles until you have tried this technique.

Another contributing factor to sleeplessness is medication. If you adjust all these factors and still have trouble sleeping, you may want to check any medication you are currently taking to see if it causes sleeplessness. Then consult your doctor about trying to take an alternative medication without those side affects.