Dr. Oz: 6 Ways to Sleep Better—Starting Tonight
Check your meds
You already know to avoid caffeine close to bedtime, but some painkillers contain enough of the stimulant to keep you up at night. And certain antidepressants increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine—two neurotransmitters that can suppress REM sleep. If you think your prescriptions are affecting your zzz's, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
Choose your dinner wisely
A small study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding food high on the glycemic index, like rice and potatoes, to your evening meal roughly four hours before bed could help you fall asleep 49 percent faster than a low-GI meal. High-GI foods increase the body's levels of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
What's the best position?
The winner: On your side!
According to the Better Sleep Council, stomach sleepers are most likely to report restlessness, while some studies have shown that sleep apnea is worse for people who snooze on their back. Research in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests that people who spend 20 to 80 percent of the night on their back could have four fewer events of obstructed breathing per hour by simply rolling onto their side.
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