All Your Sleep Problems, Solved


Getty ImagesIn theory, getting a good night's sleep is simple: Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, exercise regularly, skip caffeine and booze late at night and ban TVs from your bedroom. These moves can set you up to get the seven to nine hours of rest your brain and body crave, many studies show.

Of course, if you have trouble snoozing, you've probably tried all this and are still tossing and turning. Hang in there: "With more customized advice, I can almost guarantee that your sleep will improve," says clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, PhD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.

While we can't march you over to a sleep doctor, we can give you access to top sleep experts—and real-life insomniacs—for out-of-the-box solutions. Here's how to avoid counting sheep or watching 3 a.m. infomercials in the future.

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Smart solutions: Always sluggish? Dr. Kohler suggests keeping a log of what you did during the day and whether you woke up tired. You might learn that you sleep fitfully after watching True Blood or feel invigorated the morning after a spin class.

If you snore or wake up with a headache or dry mouth, you could have sleep apnea. Treatments range from low-tech—raising the back of your bed by 2 inches or sleeping on your side—to wearing an oxygen mask called a CPAP or a dental device that repositions your jaw and tongue to keep the airway open. Losing weight helps, too.

Grisafi now wears a dental apparatus when she sleeps. "It's not supercomfortable," she admits, but she hasn't had a choking attack since, and, she says, "I feel great."

That's the ultimate goal, whichever of these treatments works for you. Sweet dreams!