Get More Sleep on the Cheap

Drug companies spend millions convincing Americans a good night’s sleep can be found in a pill. Time to wake up.

“The reality is the more you take, the more dependent you become from those medications; the less they work. And you come to a point in your life that you’re going to have to look back and say what else am I going to do because my sleeping pill is not actually working any more.”
-Dr. Alexandre Abreu, Professor Sleep Medicine, University of Miami

Alex Abreau is a doctor specializing in sleep disorders at the University of Miami. And he’s got some advice for sleep on the cheap. First? The bedroom:

“Try to have a very nice bedroom that’s comfortable, very dark, that you kept the temperature that’s appropriate for your quality of sleep,if you need a blanket or something that will comfort you, it would be great.”
-Dr. Alexandre Abreu, Professor Sleep Medicine, University of Miami

Next? Eliminate distractions.

“Have the least that you can inside of a bedroom. Meaning no TVs, no computer, no stimuli.”
-Dr. Alexandre Abreu, Professor Sleep Medicine, University of Miami

These tips are all part of what sleep specialists call cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, a big term for a simple idea: changing the behaviors that are keeping you from sleeping.

“CBT is basically modification of your habits.”
-Dr. Alexandre Abreu, Professor Sleep Medicine, University of Miami

The best way to learn CBT is from a sleep specialist, either individually or in a group setting. But if you can’t afford it, take an online course for as little as 25 bucks. Or read about it free.

Bottom line? As with many things in life, the most heavily advertised solution isn’t the best. According to experts like Dr. Abreo, CBT isn’t only the most effective thing you can do, it’s also often the least expensive. Sleep on it.

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