What You Need to Know About Sleep

Tips from the people who know on what is keeping you up at night.

from Reader's Digest Magazine
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    1. "Memory foam is very temperature dependent. The foam can get a little hard in a cold bedroom. And if you're a hot sleeper, it may make you hotter."
    -- Alan Hedge, PhD, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

    2. "My research has found that any new smell, even one associated with relaxation, like lavender, can make you more alert and vigilant. You're better off with a scent that makes you feel safe and comfortable. There really is something to cuddling up with your spouse's undershirt."
    -- Pamela Dalton, PhD, odor-perception expert and sensory psychologist at Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    3. "We expect to sleep for eight solid hours, but that's actually not normal compared with global populations and our own evolutionary history. People naturally wake up two or three times a night. It's worrying about it that's the problem."
    -- Carol Worthman, PhD, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

    4. "If you're not sleeping well, you may have acid reflux, even if you don't feel heartburn. Try elevating your head by putting blocks under the top of the bed and sleeping on your left side. Or you can take a dose of Gaviscon (an over-the-counter remedy that creates a protective barrier against stomach acid)."
    --Patricia Raymond, MD, a gastroenterologist in Virginia Beach, Virginia

    5. "If you like a firmer mattress and she likes a softer one, you don't have to compromise. Get two singles, push them together, and use king sheets. Or you can buy a strap that attaches the mattresses to each other."
    --Alan Hedge, PhD

    6. "One of the biggest disrupters of sleep is the pulling and tugging of sheets and blankets. I tell couples that each person should have a sheet and blanket. If you pull a big comforter or duvet over the top when you make the bed, you really can't tell. Couples call me after I suggest that and say, 'Wow — you changed our marriage.'"
    --Robert Oexman, chiropractor and director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Missouri

    7. "The cooler white and blue light emitted by a computer monitor stimulates brain activity and makes it difficult for your brain to wind down. Download the software at stereopsis.com/flux. It gradually dims your screen at sundown, shifting your monitor's colors to warmer red hues."
    --Colin Grey, a time-management coach in London, England

    8. "Watching TV at night may seem relaxing, but it beams light into your eyes, which is an 'alert' signal for the brain. Read a book before bed instead."
    --Tara Brass, MD

    9. "To keep your room dark, use blackout draperies or shades — not blinds, because they never completely block out light. Install the shades as close to the glass as possible. If you don't have the depth for an interior mount, extend the fabric several inches past the width of the window."
    -- Ian Gibbs, cofounder of the Shade Store in New York, New York

    10. "A hot bath will increase your skin temperature, which eventually decreases your core body temperature. Do the same thing for yourself that you'd do for a young child — make sure you take a bath a half hour or so before bedtime. "
    -- Robert Oexman

    11. "A lot of people take bedtime pain relievers that contain caffeine and don't even realize it. Excedrin has 65 milligrams of caffeine per tablet — if you take two, that's as much as a cup of coffee. Check the label: Caffeine is always listed as an active ingredient."
    --Jan Engle, professor of pharmacy at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago

    12. "Lights that have a blue or green tint can turn down your production of melatonin, which makes it difficult to sleep. If you must use a night-light, pick a 'low blue' one (lowbluelights.com)."
    -- Robert Oexman

    13. "I'm not a fan of sleeping with two pillows if you're a back sleeper because it makes your upper back curve and strains the neck and back. If you need to sleep up high for medical reasons, get a wedge and put your pillow on it."
    -- Karen Erickson, a chiropractor in New York, New York

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    Your Comments

    • Mjsmith

      COngratulations, your article put me to sleep

    • Guest

      I cannot believe a spouse’s snoring isn’t mentioned at all. It’s such a common sleep interuptor I’m thinking of starting a support group.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jLoveLacz05081987 NunnallyKallen MarieVi Lacre-H

      before..before i go to sleep, i always read a book..cause it relaxes my eyes… ^_^

    • http://www.facebook.com/jLoveLacz05081987 NunnallyKallen MarieVi Lacre-H

      whoa…looks like i can relate to this article..I have a bad sleep habit… :-(

    • Roya46r

      the thing that i used and was so useful is eating the ice-cream half an hour before the bedtime,but i had no dinner,it was a miracle for my insomnia.

    • Penny

      For acid reflux, take 1 table spoon of cider vinager.  You can take it straight or use it as salad dressing and you will see change, that simple!  Try it.

      • Guest 10468

        I’ve heard of this, but I’ve never tried it. I know that unfiltered is the best for it though. I have extremely bad GERD and am always cautious of vinegar because it upsets mine worse at times.

    • Wake

      Okay im an insomniac and nothing on there helps. Id rather just give the advice to not eat right before bed and to at least try to sleep. Because awake 24 hours is no fun.

    • S Saberi2010

      Im realy interested in redding these papers in addition it can be so usefull . 
      I apreciate it .