A Top Doctor's Advice on Sleep

8 Smart Ways to Get More Sleep

 

Editor's Note: Andrew Ordon, M.D., F.A.C.S., the co-host of the Emmy-Award-winning syndicated talk show The Doctors, is an acclaimed aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgeon with private practices in New York and California. But he knows that to look your best, you need to feel your best. And getting a good night’s sleep is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to feel great. Here, excerpted from his new book, Better in 7: The Ultimate 7-Day Guide to a Better YOU!, are some of Dr. Ordon’s  unique tips for successful sleeping:

Get in bed with a boring book. Reading a dull book makes you lose concentration and increases your chances of drifting off.

Shop for a new pillow. There are pillows made to fit side sleepers, back sleepers or stomach sleepers. If you snore like a freight train, or if your partner does, try a Snore-No-More pillow that helps position the head and chin for easier, snore-free snoozing.

Don’t rely on allergy medicine alone.  Allergies can keep you up at night, so be sure to buy good hypoallergenic bedding. That reduces the possibility of an allergic reaction or response.

Put your alarm clock where you can’t see it. Most people who see every hour on the clock only do so because they look at the clock. So don’t look!

Keep it dark and cool.  A dark room will prompt your body to start producing melatonin, the hormone regulating your sleep.  Coolness mimics the drop that occurs in your body temperature when you fall asleep. If you’re cold, wear socks and use blankets rather than raising the room temperature. Listen to quiet music. A study in the Journal of Holistic Nursing showed that patients with sleep problems fell asleep much more easily.                Breathe rhythmically to relax. If your mind goes into a spin cycle of anxious thinking, I recommend what I call a “four-eight” breath. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper front teeth. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four. Then to the count of eight, breathe out through your mouth. Repeat several times. Don’t rely on meds. Of course, there will be nights when you just want to pop a pill. Pharmaceuticals can be useful in the short term, but they may also be addictive. Adapted with permission from Better in 7: The Ultimate 7-Day Guide to a Better YOU! by Dr. Andrew Ordon (Bird Street Books). Click here to order.
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