The Sleep Doctor's Easy Solutions For Falling AND Staying Asleep—Including His Favorite Pillow

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Have trouble falling asleep at night? Or maybe you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and unable to fall back asleep. As it turns out, you're not alone. Dr. Michael Breus, a.k.a. "The Sleep Doctor," shares the most common reasons people struggle to get a good night's rest—along with his simple solutions.   

If You Can't Turn Off Your Brain At Night... 

Start a Worry Journal  

Laying down to go to sleep at night is one of the few times throughout the day you have no distractions, so it's not uncommon to start to think—and worry. Instead of continuing to ruminate, Dr. Breus suggests keeping a worry journal.  

"A worry journal is a piece of paper where you draw a line down the middle. One side is you list out all of your worries, and on the other side, list the first step in a solution to each one. You don't have to come up with the whole solution, just step one," he explains. "This actually lowers stress in your brain, so that way you know tomorrow you can start working on that list."  

If You Get Hungry Right Before Bed... 

Eat Pistachios 

Before you reach for a bag of chips or some popcorn to eat while watching that late night movie, "The Sleep Doctor" suggests going for pistachios instead. "Turns out pistachios are loaded with protein, and they also have vitamin B6 and magnesium, all of which are great for sleep. I recommend about a quarter of a cup maybe an hour to an hour and a half before bedtime. And do yourself a favor, make sure you stay hydrated. Pistachios can be a little salty and you want to make sure you get a great night's sleep," he says.  

If You Have Discomfort at Night... 

Solution: Choose a Pillow and Mattress That Is Good For YOU  

Oftentimes having discomfort in the middle of the night in your neck and back can be a result of using the wrong type of pillow or mattress. That's right—the way you sleep should actually be dictating the type of pillow and mattress you buy.  

If You're a Back or Stomach Sleeper: Get a Thin Pillow  

"As an example, if you're a back sleeper or a stomach sleeper, you want a pillow that's super thin, that way it's not causing any aching in your lower back," he says. 

If You're a Side Sleeper: Get a Thicker Pillow 

Everpillow by Infinitemoon

Everpillow by Infinitemoon


"However if you're a side sleeper, you want a pillow that will make up for the space between your ear and the side of your shoulder," Dr. Breus explains. His favorite pillow for side sleepers is the Everpillow by Infinitemoon. "The reason I like this pillow so much is there's a zipper, so you can change the amount of stuffing [inside] and change the fill however you might want it," he says.   

Similarly, sleep positions should also play a role in the mattress you choose.  

If You're a Side Sleeper: Get a Memory Foam Mattress 

"If you're a side sleeper, you put a lot of pressure on your shoulder and that can actually start to hurt after a while. That's why things like memory foam can be very helpful to give you a bit of pressure relief, especially if you're a side sleeper.  

If You're a Back Sleeper: Get a Mattress with Springs 

"If you're a back sleeper, however, springs might actually work out very well for you. They give a nice firm surface which is great for back sleepers," says 'The Sleep Doctor'.   

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