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What Are Your Strategies for a Longer, Deeper Sleep?

Real Simple readers reveal how they get the zzzzz’s they need.

Bed and bedside tableNato Welton

Valuable Investments

After years of not being able to fall asleep, I borrowed a friend's magnetic mattress and pillow [which are said to improve circulation and reduce pain, among other things]. It may sound crazy, but the first night I used them I had the most amazing sleep ever and woke up rested―without an alarm. I have a new mattress and pillow now, and I wouldn't give them away for a million dollars.
Sara Tomlin
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The best investment my husband and I ever made was a good mattress. After seven years on the same futon, it's heaven.
S. Cook
Denver, Colorado

I bought an alarm clock that has nature sounds, a CD player, and a radio. If I'm feeling anxious, I put on a CD of prayer chants. If I'm relaxed, I listen to jazz on the radio. If I'm tired but can't fall asleep, I listen to ocean waves, because they remind me of camping at the beach when I was a kid.
Amy Whelan
Fullerton, California

I live in New York City, where loud noise and bright lights interfere with my sleep. To create white noise, I rely on an inexpensive fan that works just as well as an expensive sleep machine.
Maggie Byrne
New York, New York

No-Fail Insomnia Busters

I train for triathlons each morning. By 9:30 P.M., I am ready to crash. Prior to starting this morning routine, I had trouble sleeping and finding the time to work out. Now my bedtime is consistent, and I am ready for training each morning. I love this change in my routine.
Ashley Beeman
Elsah, Illinois

Counting sheep has never worked for me, so I've tried many alternatives. My favorite is to dig up my old organic-chemistry textbook from college, turn to any random page, and pretend I have a test the next day. It never fails―I rarely get through one page.
Wendy Collins Montplaisir
Portland, Oregon

My favorite sleep strategy is a drop of liquid valerian root in a cup of hot kavakava tea. If I'm particularly stressed, I put a drop of ylang-ylang on my pillow.
Denise Eldred
Springfield, Missouri

The secret to a good night's sleep? Sex. It's as simple as that.
Lou Gaffey
Toronto, Ontario
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