Sleep deprivation affects more than 70 million Americans, and people are spending $24 billion a year just trying to fall asleep.
Sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's Four-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, says that your bedroom might be keeping you from a restful sleep. Here are his bedtime essentials:
A calming paint color. "Studies have shown that color can produce emotion," he says. "And so we know when we walk into a room, we want to have a sleep environment that's conducive to sleep." Also, don't use high-gloss paint. "You want a flat paint because, again, it helps with the tone of the color."
The right light. Keep your same lamp, but use a 45-watt bulb. "It is not so bright that it's telling the brain that it's morning time and then you would stop producing melatonin, which is one of the things that helps you sleep," Dr. Breus says. "Another thing I have people do is put dimmer switches in their bedrooms to again create that ambiance."
A good reading light. Dr. Breus likes the Light Wedge. "What's interesting about this is you place it across and it actually shoots light across the page. So you're not getting that bright light that would prevent you from getting melatonin," he says. "But also you don't have that spotlight where you're kind of looking around trying to figure out what's going on, on the sides of the page. So it reduces eye strain as well." Learn more about the Light Wedge at www.lightwedge.com.
Ambient comfort pillows. This pillow can help increase oxygen levels in your body by up to 29 percent. "It uses a specific thing called nanotechnology, and what it does is it takes the ambient energy in the air and it pulls it in, and when you lie on it, it helps give it back to your skin which on your skin helps bring oxygen to it," he says. Ambient comfort pillows can be found in various department stores.
The Indulgence pillow. This is perfect for people who sleep on their sides. "What's great about that is it's a little bit thicker, it's got a little bit more fill in it. What's also nice is it's completely hypoallergenic," he says. Find these pillows at Bed, Bath & and Beyond, www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
Tempur-Pedic's Rhapsody Mattress. One good mattress option to consider is Tempur-Pedic's Rhapsody mattress. "It's made with the temper foam, and if you push down, it molds to you," Dr. Breus says. Learn more at www.relaxtheback.com or a Relax the Back store near you