Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ways to Get Better Sleep

If you believe the advertising hype, the only products that help you sleep better are mattresses and sleeping pills. These are certainly the most advertised products (see the “Sleep Industrial Complex” article in the New York Times). But they are also the most expensive, and potentially addictive and unhealthy.

Luckily, there is a whole family of sleep products that is neither expensive, nor addictive, nor unhealthy (see the “Curing Insomnia Without The Pills” blog in the New York Times). These products are smaller and less costly than mattresses -- and drug-free, unlike sleeping pills. These products as a whole might be described as “sleep accessories.” Their purpose is to improve “sleep hygiene” by providing an optimal sleep environment – one that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. This is precisely the type of environment recommended by The National Sleep Foundation in its “Healthy Sleep Tips”. Other medical sources recommend a similar sleep environment (see the Mayo Clinic’s “10 Tips for Better Sleep”, or Web MD’s “How to Sleep Better”).

In this blog, we will review the products in this product family, indicating their usefulness, features, and price range. The products include: Sound Conditioners (or White Noise Machines), Sleep Masks (or Sleeping Masks or Eye Masks), Ear Plugs, Blackout Blinds (or Blackout Liners), and Sleepwear (particularly those made of wicking material). Light Therapy products will also be reviewed for people suffering from Season Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) or having difficulty waking up (products include Light Boxes and Sunrise Alarm Clocks). We believe the reader will come to recognize the cost-benefit advantage these products have over mattresses and sleeping pills.

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