Millions of Americans are sleep deprived and they aren't a happy bunch. They show up to work groggy and make mistakes at their computers. They are short tempered and inefficient. Yet they struggle on, insisting there is no problem. Some of them turn to medication to get sleep. Over the counter medication is available at drugstores, convenience stores, even the grocery store. While most of these are safe to take once in a while, the rest that you receive is not as restful to the body as true sleep. Some of these medications can be habit forming, read the label. None are safe for small children.

Other non-prescription methods for getting sleepy include: drinking herbal tea. Chamomile or Valerian root tea both have a soothing effect. Warm milk makes some people dozy. Alcoholic beverages will essentially make you pass out if you have enough, the side effects include a head ache the next day. Exercising earlier in the day, maintaining a correct weight and meditation all have an overall effect to make sleep more restful. Exercising right before bed has the opposite effect of being too stimulating for most people,

Prescription drugs should be a last resort. Many have dangerous side effects, such as sleep walking, or making you too groggy to get up in the morning. Most have a disturbing addiction rate. Even if they are not physically addicting, they may become psychologically addicting. If you believe you need a pill to fall asleep, you will need one. Habit plays into a restful sleep. The more ordered your schedule the more easily you can fall asleep. If you sometimes work graveyard shift and then switch to swing shift your body has trouble adjusting.

A good bed is worth more than you think. Before I had my tempurapedic bed I thought there was something about mornings that caused my arthritis to flare. Finally in desperation I called a friend in the medical business and asked him what his opinion was. He took one look at my shabby old bed and told me to get rid of it. Actually his exact words were, "Gee Whiz Woman! Homeless people sleep on better stuff than that!" He took my bed to the dump that day. I qualified for credit directly with the bed company. Even if your credit isn't that great, and the terms are scary, a good bed may change your whole life. Being able to sleep well has brought my chronic pain from a level 5 every morning to a 1 (with 10 being childbirth, and 0 representing a pain free life.)

If you have a partner, Sleep Number is another premium bed worth considering. IT has the advantage of being able to be adjusted on each side independently. A Tempurapedic bed is the same all over. Don't think if you've tried a two or three inch tempurapedic pad on your mattress that it's the same thing, because it's not. Even the more expensive pads I have seen are no where near as dense as the actual bed.

Think of a good night's sleep as an investment in yourself. If you could save money on back surgeries, hip and knee replacements, and chronic pain medication – isn't it worth it?