Those who don't understand always dole out the same advice: "Go to bed earlier!" "Just try to relax!" But those who actually struggle to get their nightly ZZZs know it's easier said than done. We polled self-described poor sleepers about what really helps them get into that REM cycle. Here's what to do before bedtime, in their own words:
"I rub this on my temples, my neck, and the bottom of my feet and then I put on a meditation from my favorite app, Stop, Breathe & Think. Sometimes, I fall asleep with my headphones still in!" —Leah S., 32
"It's easy to get used to your bedding and not think it's affecting your sleep because it's comfy enough. But when I upgraded my five-year-old pillow to a Casper pillow, the difference was impressive! It’s fluffy (not too thick) and supportive no matter what sleeping position I end up in." —Chloe M., 26
"Between managing a young son and my own company, I am prone to being up all night tossing and turning. I started wearing these blue blockers for a good hour prior to sleeping when I am watching TV or on the computer. I can now sleep through most of the night!" —Wendi B., 48
"I became a tremendously bad sleeper in 2013 following the collapse of my marriage. I started drinking two tablespoons of Tart Cherry juice in water before bed. It knocks me out every time." —Julia H., 53
"I was constantly waking up tired and had no idea why since I was getting a full eight hours a night. Or, so I thought. Once I started using the sleep tracking feature on my Fitbit Versa, I realized that I was only logging about five hours of sleep once it accounted for tossing and turning. I've change my bedtime to be a few hours earlier and have noticed a world of difference." —Lindsey M., 25
"Because of a deviated septum, I had issues with snoring that drastically affected my wife's sleep. I tried Mute snoring aids about five months ago and it significantly reduced the noise so my wife could get her rest. I hardly notice when I'm wearing it." —Graham K., 44
"I have a stressful job in the film industry that affects my sleeping patterns and I've struggled with staying asleep for years. Ever since I started taking melatonin, my sleeping issues disappeared completely. Highly recommend!" —Daniel P., 25
EDITOR'S NOTE: Always talk to your doctor before taking a dietary supplement.
"I am a side sleeper, so sleeping with headphones can be uncomfortable. A year ago, I tried SleepPhones Wireless. They are cordless headphones with flat speakers in a soft fleece headband that are perfect for blocking out noises and listening to meditation tracks." —Amanda P., 35
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you don't want to spend $100, you can buy a wired option for less than half the cost.
"With my phone next to my bed, the Sleepzy app analyzes my sleep and wakes me up during my lightest sleep phase so that I can have a less abrupt start to the day. I get a report every morning with stats on my sleep through the night that will let me know if I was under my goal." —Nikki N., 29
"When the traffic outside my apartment window threatens to keep me up for hours, I switch on this little machine to drown out all the honking on the street. Without fail the 'summer night' soundtrack puts me out before the 30-minute timer feature stops." —Caroline P., 24