How to fix all of your sleep problems with science

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istock

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

Myriad distractions are in cahoots, keeping you from getting enough shut-eye.

We’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep, but many Americans don’t hit that target every night.

Sleep can provide incredible health benefits, like helping us lose weight, improving our memories, and even making us happier.

So when you’re lying in bed with one of these nine common sleep problems, here’s what the science says you should do.


Strategically placing pillows is a good way to relieve all sorts of pain. If you wake up with a sore shoulder, try hugging your pillow when you’re going to sleep.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Hennepin County Medical Center


Sleeping on your stomach is probably not the best position if you have back pain, though a pillow under your legs can help. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs to relieve discomfort.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Source: Mayo Clinic


If your pillow doesn’t hold its shape, it’s time to get a new one.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Source: Journal of Pain Research


It can be tough to banish phones before bedtime, but you should. Their blue light can wreak havoc on your REM cycle.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Sources: Journal of Applied Physiology, Neuroendocrinology Letters


Your body should be cooler when you sleep to get the best rest.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Sleep Foundation, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews


Scientists call not waking up at the same time “social jet lag.” Try setting your alarm for the same time seven days a week.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Source: Chronobiology International


About 7 million Americans have acid reflux disease. Medication and sleeping elevated on your left side can help.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Healthline


Whether you or your partner are noisy, there are interventions you can try to prevent snoring. If you’re the snorer, start by avoiding sleeping on your back.

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

Source: Harvard Medical School


Scientists aren’t sure what causes nighttime leg cramps, but it’s probably related to muscle fatigue and nerve damage. Stretching and massage can help.

source
Skye Gould/Business Insider

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic