INSOMNIA A high-pressure city like Hong Kong is bound to spawn insomniacs. The problem of insomnia is often the result of stress, anxiety, medication or caffeine. The eyes invariably give away the insomnia-plagued. The eye contour is the first to betray fatigue. Dark circles and puffiness become increasingly visible, and the contour starts to lose its glow. Tiredness can also cause paleness of skin, making the blood underneath the skin more visible and resulting in a bluish hue. Lack of sleep also slows the lymphatic system, resulting in ineffective detoxination and consequently swollen eyes. EIGHT STEPS TO A GOOD NIGHT Avoid stimulating substances, such as caffeine, and do not exercise just before bedtime. Do, however, engage in a regular exercise programme, preferably in the morning or around noon. Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic activity is effective, especially when interspersed with interval training, during which one pushes their workout into the anaerobic range for brief periods of time. Avoid distractions in the bedroom, such as excessive light and noise, television, alarm clocks, etc. If you can't fall asleep, get out of bed and do something until tired. Don't associate lying in bed with sleeplessness. Avoid stressful thoughts and sentiments before bedtime and while attempting to fall asleep. Combat worries and preoccupations about the day ahead by attending to plans and schedules before bedtime. Background noise, such as an electric fan or soft rhythmic music, helps many people to drift into sleep. Buy the most comfortable bed you can find.