Doctors say it's important to look at your lifestyle-too much caffeine, too little exercise, or too much late-night work or TV. If lifestyle changes aren't enough, medications can help. But supplements may also help provide a peaceful night's sleep.
People have used chamomile tea for sleep for thousands of years. Studies seem to back up its calming effect. One Japanese study of rats found that chamomile extract helped the rats fall to sleep just as quickly as rats that got a dose of benzodiazepine (a tranquilizing medication). Better research of chamomile is needed, experts agree. The FDA considers chamomile tea to be safe with usually no side effects.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle (circadian cycles). Studies show that melatonin not only helps some people fall asleep, but also enhances the quality of sleep. Melatonin comes in two forms-extended release and immediate release. If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night, you may want to take extended release before you go to bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, try immediate release.
BETTER SLEEPCommon sleep positions
There are three main sleeping positions with variables of each: side, back, and stomach. Sleep specialists recommend sleeping on your side in order to rest more comfortably and decrease the likelihood of interrupted sleep.
Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors. In addition, insomnia may be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders.
SLEEPINESSWomen and sleep
Previous research shows that women are more sleep deprived than men, having greater difficulty falling and staying asleep and experiencing more daytime sleepiness.