HEALTHY LIVING
07/05/2014 12:08 pm ET | Updated Jul 05, 2014

How To Catch More Zzs When You Just Can't Sleep

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It's happened to all of us: Your head hits the pillow, and your brain seems to think it's time to go through everything on tomorrow's to-do list.

So how can you catch more Zzs when your racing mind just won't let you sleep? Monica Mallampalli, Ph.D., MSc, of the Society for Women's Health Research, and Dr. Andrew Varga, M.D., Ph.D., of the New York University Sleep Disorders Center, stopped by the "Today" show to discuss why our racing thoughts take over -- and how to make them stop.

"You're bombarded with sensory information all day," Varga said. "As you're drifting off to sleep is the time when suddenly all that sensory information is gone or quiet, and so it allows your mind to kind of rehearse all these different things, let some worries come out."

One of the smartest ways to combat this conundrum is to practice good sleep hygiene, including going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. "I think it's important to pay attention to sleep," Mallampalli said, noting that people should also bring up any issues with their physicians.

Watch the video above for more from Mallampalli and Varga on how to quiet the mind and drift off to dreamland.

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