Can't sleep? Here are 3 ways to get a good night's rest

No phones in bed; no dogs, either
Posted at 4:09 AM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 06:33:14-04

There was a time when you could sleep through the night, life's problems far away as you drifted off into blissful slumber.

That was a long time ago. Life and stress has turned your pillows into lumpy enemies.

At least you're not alone. In fact, you're now one of 206 million Americans who struggle to get the recommended 7-9 hours per night. You're cranky. You're exhausted. You're scatterbrained. You're in desperate need of some shut-eye.

Zzzzzzzzz's, man. You need zzzzzzzz's. In fact, your health relies on it.

First off, turn off your phone. In fact, if you can manage, don't even bring that addictive blinking gizmo into the bedroom. (I use mine as my alarm, but it's time to get a proper alarm clock.)

We are Sleepless in America, says Alisha Looney of Florida Hospital Tampa's Sleep Center, because of "the technology, the smartphones, the electronic devices, laying in bed, looking, thinking about work."

The emotional stress of your phone is bad, but there's a direct physical toll, too.

"The screen for the electronic devices prohibits the release of melatonin, which helps initiate sleep," she says.

There are 84 different kinds of sleep disorders. But most of us can be helped with a few strict guidelines. Such as: NO CAFFEINE 4 HOURS BEFORE BED.

You may think you can zonk out after downing a cuppa joe or slugging back a Pepsi. But your brain disagrees.

"Patients may say they don't have any difficulty falling asleep with caffeine," says Looney, "but it's the quality of sleep, their brain may be waking up throughout and not allowing them to get a deeper sleep."

She also stresses maintaining a strict sleep selfishness. This is where some tough love comes into play. If you let your dog and cat sleep in your bed, but they wake you up constantly, it's time to boot Fido and Mittens into another room. Sorry. Be strong.

Same goes for your lovey-dicey human counterpart. If they're restless or they snore, Hubby or Wife, BF or GF, should consider some of the above sleep suggestions or see a physician/sleep technician to alleviate sleeplessness. It's hurting them and you!

The quest for sleep has become a multi- billion dollar industry, and as a result, numerous sleep "hacking" apps have been developed and dozens of holistic sleep aids are hotly debated (tart cherry juice??

If none of this help, consult your doctor. You may think you can "catch up" on sleep during the weekend, but your body, and your brain, knows better.