Family Features

With over scheduled days full of early-morning conference calls and endless to-do lists, it’s impossible to avoid the stress that comes with working hard.

Hand-in-hand with all that pressure, a lack of quality sleep can lead to aches and pains, stiffness, sore muscles, tingling or numbness in your extremities, general fatigue, as well as an increased risk of getting sick.

According to the national sleep foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. in fact, a survey by mattress firm showed a correlation between stress and those who receive less sleep than recommended.

Twice as many stressed people get fewer than five hours of sleep each night compared to those who are not stressed. What’s more, those who are stressed are five times more likely to experience insomnia at least once a month.

The proper amount and quality of sleep can have a dramatic impact on your life. if you’re stressed and experiencing trouble sleeping, these tips from the sleep experts at mattress firm can help ensure you’re getting the rest you need to improve your sleep health.

Minimize technology use before you head to bed. the survey found that quality of sleep is negatively impacted because of stress-induced technology use. for example, those who are stressed are 60 percent more likely to watch tv an hour before bed, more than twice as likely to post to social media an hour before bed, twice as likely to check email an hour before bed and more than 40 percent more likely to sleep with their phones next to their beds.

Ensure your body is getting adequate support. What felt comfortable to sleep on eight years ago may not provide the support your body needs today. your weight, pressure points, ailments, etc. can change over the course of time, so it’s important to check the mattress tag.

if it’s more than eight years old, it is time to replace it. another way to make sure your body has the proper support and alignment is to figure out your sleep position and select the right pillows to support your body. this can help alleviate tossing and turning, and provide a more comfortable night of sleep.

Avoid nighttime snacking. about 24 percent of extremely stressed people indulge in a snack an hour before bed, according to the survey. there are many food and drink options that encourage a good night’s sleep more than others, such as tryptophan-rich foods like dairy, nuts and seeds, bananas, honey and eggs.

Conversely, foods and medications with caffeine and foods with high-fat content should be avoided. the foods you choose are important, but also pay attention to the timing of when you eat and drink. even fighting stress with an afternoon espresso can affect your ability to sleep hours later when your head hits the pillow.

find more ideas for relaxing and achieving better sleep at, and follow #Workhardsleepharder on facebook, twitter and instagram.

It’s no secret: americans are desperate for sleep. in fact, the u.s. sleep aid market is expected to grow to $44 billion by 2020, according to data from Persistence market research. however, achieving better sleep may be as easy as changing what you eat.

A survey commissioned by the Cherry marketing institute and conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2017 among more than 2,000 adults suggests that Americans may be open to alternate sleep solutions.

An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans would prefer to improve their sleep through diet rather than using over-the-counter sleep aids.

One promising solution that doesn’t require a trip down the pharmaceutical aisle: montmorency tart cherry juice, which has been scientifically studied for its ability to help improve sleep quality and duration. montmorency tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

“Melatonin plays a big role in the sleep equation,” said Dr. michael Breus, a nationally renowned sleep expert. “Without it, our bodies aren’t triggered to regulate the sleep cycle and therefore, we can’t get the rest we need. one simple, delicious and natural way to incorporate melatonin into your sleep routine is with montmorency tart cherry juice. research has shown adding two glasses of montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily routine can improve your sleep quality and duration.”

a growing body of research suggests montmorency tart cherry juice may help with sleep-related concerns, such as:

• improving sleep efficiency

• reducing the severity of insomnia and sleep disturbances

• increasing sleep time

Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms at retailers across the country and online. for additional information, including more recipes like this soothing bedtime tea, visit

Bedtime Tea Tart Cherry Turmeric
Recipe courtesy of Kristina LaRue of

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
yield: 2 cups

• 1 cup of montmorency tart cherry juice
• 1 cup of water
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
• 2 bags of chamomile tea
• 1/4 cup of frozen montmorency tart cherries

In small pot or tea kettle, bring tart cherry juice and water to boil. stir in turmeric and ginger, and pour over tea bags and frozen montmorency tart cherries. steep 5 minutes. remove tea bags and drink warm, at room temperature or chilled.