Beauty & Makeup

Sleep Strategies

Continued (page 2 of 2)

"If you hate going into your bedroom at night because of the way it looks, you're going to start associating those negative feelings with sleep itself," says Dr. Ash. "You're likely to put off bedtime as long as possible, and to not sleep well when you do turn in for the night."( Take the time and money to make your bedroom a welcoming haven. A University of Arizona study found a correlation between fats and sleep apnea, a disorder that can rob the body of oxygen. "Scientists are still establishing the link, but we do know that eating fatty foods at dinner can cause stomach upset that affects sleep quality," says Dr. Ash. Make a point of getting no more than 30 percent of your total calories at dinner from fat. If you're going to splurge on fries or other foods containing high amounts of fat, try to do so at lunch.

If you are having trouble catching enough shut-eye, you may be tempted to ask your doctor for a little help. The popularity of prescription sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta has tripled in the past five years—but Dr. Zafarlotfi cautions that they shouldn't be your first line of defense, because of the potential to become dependent on them. She says taking a Tylenol PM or other OTC sleep aid is fine once in a while-although long-term overuse can lead to liver damage—but expect to be far from peppy the next day. (Don't pop one the night before your nuptials!) Your best bet for getting to the bottom of a persistent sleep problem, she says: "See your primary physician or a sleep specialist so you can start getting the slumber you need."

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