As 2013 comes to an end, we take a look back at our top sleep-related stories of the year. Counting down from No. 5, these are the articles on that received the most views in 2013:

5. Sleepless in Japan

Maybe a comfy bed in a cozy bedroom gets kind of boring sometimes. To shake things up, you can sleep in some unique and unusual hotels around the world. In a prison, underwater, in a mine, on a crane, in an igloo: The options are…interesting.

In 2013 one of our staff slept in a capsule hotel in Japan. It looked like a laundromat and felt like a space prison. Let’s just say that the ambience left much to be desired. Overall it was one sleepless night that he’ll never forget. Months later, you can still hear him mumbling, “There’s no bed like home, there’s no bed like home…”

4. Sleep apnea and football

One of the hot topics in the NFL this year was the risk of brain injury caused by concussions. But another common health risk for football players is obstructive sleep apnea. In August CBS sports college football analyst Aaron Taylor warned young football players about the dangers of sleep apnea. He has seen sleep apnea destroy the health of fellow players and friends. So Aaron decided to get help while he still had time. Treatment for sleep apnea has changed his life.

3. Smart sleep

Do smartphones know how to track your sleep? We took a look at sleep-tracking apps and fitness wristbands like Jawbone Up and FitBit Force. These devices can provide some useful sleep estimates. This can be helpful if you are setting health goals or making it a priority to get more sleep.

But these apps and fitness bands can’t provide an accurate analysis of your sleep. You will still need to get help for an ongoing sleep problem from the sleep team at an AASM accredited sleep center.

2. Summer sleep

Currently it’s 7 degrees outside of our office with a wind chill of 5 below zero. Summer – what’s that again? Oh yeah, the season with lots of daylight and too much heat. Sounds dreamy right about now. But the summer heat and humidity can make it hard to sleep well. Reading our No. 2 article from 2013, Sleep Tips for the Summer, might make you feel a little warmer on this cold winter day. Or it just might make you bitter. So maybe you should skip this one for now and come back to it in a few months.

1. Sleeping pill safety

In January 2013 the FDA issued a new safety announcement requiring drug makers to lower the recommended doses for sleeping pills that contain the drug zolpidem. The FDA’s primary concern was that people still may be drowsy the morning after taking a sleeping pill. Our No. 1 article from 2013, Ten Safety Tips for Taking Sleeping Pills for Insomnia, provides some practical advice. One of our top tips: Only take a sleeping pill when you will have enough time to get plenty of sleep. (Most sleeping pills, such as Ambien or Lunesta, should be taken at least seven to eight hours before you need to wake up.)

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine thanks you for visiting We wish you a safe, healthy and happy new year in 2014.