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Insomnia Treatment Tips From Actor Debi Mazar

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Debi Mazar

You may know actor Debi Mazar from her work in the movie Goodfellas, and from her role as Shauna on the HBO hit TV show, Entourage. But I know Debi as a busy mom who struggles with insomnia.  I caught up with her a few days ago to find out how she’s coped with those sleepless nights.

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Dr. Val: When did insomnia first become a problem for you?

Mazar: Insomnia is surprisingly common. It affects 60 million Americans: 40% of women and 30% of men. My struggle with insomnia began in my mid to late 20’s when my professional and love life went into full swing. I ate well and exercised, but started having trouble falling asleep every night. I went to see a doctor because I didn’t realize that there were many things that I could do about it on my own.

Dr. Val: What are some of the non-medical treatments that worked for you?

Mazar: Cutting back on caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, and exercising only early in the day, having a healthy sex life, and getting myself on a sleeping schedule. I also tried to reduce stress levels in my life by not going to bed angry, by unplugging from TV and the Internet, and I made my bedroom a very cozy, dark environment that would be condusive to sleep. When you’re a mom, sleeping pills aren’t a good option because you might have to get up in the middle of the night. I have a full list of insomnia tips at

Dr. Val: I bet that insomnia is a common problem in Hollywood. Has that been your experience?

Mazar: I don’t consider myself to be part of “Hollywood” I’m just an average mom who worries about the world we live in and our economy. The news can cause a lot of anxiety – regardless of what you do for a living. It keeps us all awake at night. Of course, chronic insomnia can increase our risk of depression, weight gain, diabetes and hypertension.

Dr. Val: What is the most important thing for Americans to know about sleep?

Mazar: Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself, so sleep is essential for good health. Without it, we all fall apart.

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3 Responses to “Insomnia Treatment Tips From Actor Debi Mazar”

  1. I agree with not going to bed angry. Resolve household conflicts quickly as possible and move on.

    I usually take a 30-40 minute walk a couple hours before bed. That is my relaxation time, giving reflection to my day and the events surrounding it. It is also when I define my thoughts for writing. So the exercise makes me a bit physically tired and the meditation powers me down psychologically as my thoughts swirl lazily in my brain!


  2. Strong One says:

    I thank you for this article. I too suffer from insomnia quite frequently.
    I have taken all the necessary steps and precautions, everything from no TV in the bedroom, caffeine, liquids, mind-calming techniques.
    Its a real handicap if you can’t control it. Because sound sleep is more important than we’d all like to admit.


  3. What do you think of celebrities becoming a spokesman for a disease or condition?

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