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Sleep remedies for a better night's rest

May 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're waking up more tired than refreshed, you're not alone. Getting enough sleep is a national health crisis. But there are some easy remedies for a better night's rest.

If you've had a restless night and you're waking up more tired than when you went to bed, it may be more about your quality of sleep than the quantity.

"People turn to me in my office and they say, 'Dr. Breus, I can't turn off my brain at night.' It's probably one of the most common complaints," said Dr. Michael Breus, a psychologist board certified in clinical sleep disorders.

Breus gives his patients two proven sleep prescriptions. The first is distraction - try counting backward from 300 in threes.

"It's mathematically so complicated that you can't think of anything else, and it's so doggone boring, you're out like a light," Breus said.

The second prescription is to create a worry journal. Write down your problems along with a simple solution - like making a phone call about it.

"Just getting all of that out of your head and on to paper often times is enough to calm people down and allow them to sleep," he said.

But Breus says the root of the problem isn't always psychological. Getting and staying asleep has a lot to do with body temperature. Being too hot or too cold can pull you out of a deep sleep.

"I created a bed that actually keeps the surface of the bed in a thermo-neutral state, and the body will self adjust," Breus described.

His mattress is made with a high-tech coating.

"It works the same way water does. So when you heat water up, the molecules will spread apart and cause steam. As you cool water down, the molecules come together and form ice," Breus explained.

The Dr. Breus Bed runs from $1,400 to $3,700 depending on size and model. It is sold at Sit 'n Sleep stores.

Breus says you should look for a mattress that gives your spine enough support and distributes your weight. Without proper support, you can wake up sore and tired because your muscles are working all night, when they should be resting.


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