The Only Good Option When You Really Can't Sleep (VIDEO)

February 13, 2015 4:42 PM

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The expert: W. Christopher Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. The sleep secret: "I like to take a lunchtime nap to make up for those unavoidable late nights. As a sleep consultant for a number of sports teams, I often travel on weekends, but I need to see patients early Monday morning. So I'll block out 1-1:30pm, always the same time. Naps work best if they're on a schedule because your body learns to anticipate the rest. I follow the same routine: dim the lights, turn on a sound machine, and recline in my chair 180 degrees. It's very important not to sleep longer than 30 minutes to avoid the post-nap funk. I set a wake-up alarm and also ask my assistant to check on me. I have a Zeo sleep management device--a Jawbone UP does this, too -- that shows me how much time I spent in light and deep stages of sleep. If I fall quickly into deep sleep during a nap, I know I'm really sleep deprived and should plan another nap tomorrow." Sleep disappointment: "Although I counsel those who struggle with sleep to exercise in the morning, that doesn't work for me. I do better with squeezing in a workout later, sometimes at 10 or 11pm."

The expert: Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep The sleep secret: "The number-one complaint I get from patients is, 'I can't seem to turn off my mind at night.' I've had the same problem, especially when I'm on the ro...

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