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20 Natural Ways To Sleep Better


Photo by Helga Weber via Flickr

Are you having a hard time trying to sleep? How many hours of sleep are you having? 8 hours?

Chances are, you’re not getting it. “Sleep issues are epidemic among women today,” says Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan.

Not surprisingly, women tend to get less sleep than men do overall, says Marianne Legato, MD, FACP, director of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. Even if you don’t have children, levels of sleep-promoting estrogen sink regularly during menstruation and then permanently in menopause. And symptoms related to both–cramps, headaches, hot flashes, and night sweats–also disrupt slumber.

But experts agree that these biological facts don’t mean that sleep deprivation has to be your destiny. “Feeling tired should never be considered normal,” says Dr. Breus. Yet there are no stock sleep solutions, either: Finding out what works for you takes some trial and error, but it’s well worth it, says Lawrence Epstein, MD, chief medical officer of Sleep HealthCenters. “Sleep is a basic biological necessity–just like eating–and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life,” he notes.

Try these 20 ideas to find the sleep formula that works best for you.

1. Set a sleep schedule — and stick with it

2. Keep a sleep diary

3. Stop smoking

4. Review your medications

5. Exercise, but not within 4 hours of bedtime

6. Cut caffeine after 2 p.m.

7. Write down your woes

8. Take time to wind down

9. Sip milk, not a martini

10. Snack on cheese and crackers

11. Listen to a bedtime story

12. Stay cool …

13. …especially if you’re menopausal

14. Spray a sleep-inducing scent

15. Turn on the white noise

16. Eliminate sneaky light sources

17. Consider kicking out furry bedmates

18. Check your pillow position

19. Breathe — deeply

20. Stay put if you wake up

…more at :

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