Doing everything right and still not sleeping?
You’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. You pour your last cup of coffee for the day approximately five minutes after you get up in the morning, and your bedtime routine is so calming, it could put a wired four year old into a coma. You banish worries by writing them down in a special notebook you keep by the bed, right next to your warm milk and drug-free, homeopathic, fragrance-based sleep aids. So why do you still find yourself staring at the ceiling?
It’s time to listen to what some unexpected experts have to say. Their jobs don’t necessarily include long hours in a laboratory studying sleep problems, but what they know about a multitude of other irritants – stomach ills and back pain and windows in need of shades – just might put you out for the night.
Rethink your mattress
“You don’t need a really expensive mattress or one with a lot of space-age bells and whistles. There’s really only one good study on mattresses, and it confirmed the Goldilocks theory: most people prefer a mattress that’s not too hard and not too soft. So look for something medium firm.”
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Andrew Hecht
“If you can, try the type of mattress you’re considering in a hotel or at a friend’s house. Some stores may even let you sleep on it for a night. Some mattress companies will also give you a full refund if you don’t like it after a month.”
Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, cofounder of the Apartment Therapy website
Stick to one pillow
“I’m not a fan of sleeping with two pillows if you’re a back sleeper because it makes your upper back curve and strains the neck and back. If you need to sleep up high for medical reasons, get a wedge and put your pillow on it.”
Chiropractor Dr Karen Erickson