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Meet The Washington Post’s Cristina Quinn, who is always game to try something new. She is your guide in “Try This” — a new series of audio courses from The Post that will provide quick, fresh and practical approaches to tackling the kind of hurdles we all face: how to sleep better, get the most out of our relationships, get out of our own way and more. Follow “Try This” now so you catch the first course when it drops Tuesday, Dec. 5.
In this first class of our course on how to get better sleep, host Cristina Quinn outlines why trying to get yourself to sleep can sometimes be a barrier to getting rest. But if we shouldn't will ourselves to sleep, what should we do instead? Cristina talks to an expert with a clear plan for how to tackle anxiety at bedtime by taking some tangible steps during the day. If you’d like additional resources, here are some columns from sleep expert Lisa Strauss who is featured in this episode:Overthinking at night? 6 strategies for better sleep.Three ways to fix sleep issues when nothing else worksSubscribe to The Washington Post and connect your subscription in Apple Podcasts.
Lying awake at night, ruminating over stuff that bothers you is not fun. But it’s normal! We’ve all done it and it can get in the way of the rest you need. In class 2 of our course on how to sleep better, Cristina walks us through how trying to suppress your difficult feelings from popping up at night might be counterproductive. Sleep expert Lisa Strauss explains a technique for identifying and changing negative thought patterns. Consider this an exercise in compartmentalizing – a technique for preventing intrusive thoughts from taking over at bedtime. Subscribe to The Washington Post and connect your subscription in Apple Podcasts. 
In class 3 of our course about how to get better sleep, we dig in on a moment most of us are familiar with – waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. Sometimes our default setting is to keep thinking our endless thoughts, but, it turns out, what we really need is a distraction. And you want to make sure to find the right kind of distraction – one that requires little to no thinking or mental commitment. Cristina explores tips on how to do that and an accessory that can help.  Here are some of Cristina’s favorite suggestions for soothing distractions that might work for you:The autobiography of Eleanor RooseveltRick Steves’s travel podcasts Subscribe to The Washington Post and connect your subscription in Apple Podcasts.
In class 4 of our course on how to get better sleep, Cristina and sleep expert Lisa Strauss explore the concept of sleep drive. Counterintuitively, sometimes you need to increase your need for sleep, even if you’re exhausted already. Lisa Strauss explains a technique called sleep compression, where you limit your sleep opportunity to a more sustainable quantity – and you just might find the sweet spot for the amount that best suits your body over the long-term. What does this have to do with pizza? You’ll find out – and it will be delicious. Subscribe to The Washington Post and connect your subscription in Apple Podcasts.
The melatonin factor

The melatonin factor


In the fifth and final class of our course on how to get better sleep, we focus on melatonin. Researchers found that melatonin use in the United States more than quintupled between 1999 and 2018. You might know someone who swears by melatonin or maybe you yourself do. But does it work? What do we know about how effective melatonin supplements are, and what does it mean for helping you get better sleep? Cristina unpacks the research and helps you determine if melatonin is the right choice for your sleep needs. Here are some organizations and labels to look for when purchasing melatonin supplements:National Sanitation FoundationUnited States Pharmacopeia Read more from The Washington Post about how and when to take melatonin.Subscribe to The Washington Post and connect your subscription in Apple Podcasts.
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