Get Your Sleep: Ambien Alternative

How to fall asleep fast.

woman sleeping
(Image credit: Diane Diederich)

While American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Mary Susan Esther is surrounded by cutting-edge insomnia drugs, she prefers behavioral brain-mellowing: Before bed, she avoids alcohol ("causes sleep disturbances") and OTC antihistamines ("you're drowsy the next day"). Instead, she grabs magazines: "After a late meeting, or if I wake up at 3 a.m., I lie on a couch and flip through pages of fashion, cooking - nothing that gets me too riled up. I take an hour, and it always keeps me from tossing and thinking about work once I get into bed."