2 things that really can help you sleep better

I can't help but laugh at all of the crazy things people will try in the name of sleep.

There are cooling blankets, space pillows, blackout shades, smartphone apps to control your lights, noise machines to fill your room with ocean sounds, and more.

There are plugs to close your ears and strips to open your nose.

And let's not forget the "As Seen on TV" mattresses with electronic controls that become softer or firmer on demand.

Some of these things can help. Some are a big waste of money. Some are a little of both.

Now, the sleep market is about to get even more crowded. There's a new wave of expensive devices coming out that look -- and I'm not even kidding here -- like underwear, except you don't pull them on over your legs.

You put them on over your head.

These gadgets are essentially oversized headbands that cover parts of your head and ears.

Electronic gimmickry inside is supposed to tap into your brainwaves... tracked and monitored via an app... and trigger certain sounds to be played into your ears as you doze off.

Supposedly, you can fall asleep more quickly, stay out longer, and get rested better.

On the downside, I haven't seen any solid studies to back these things. They're also expensive, running $400 to $500. And I can't imagine that it's very comfortable to sleep with these things hooked up to your skull.

If you can get past ALL of that, and you're willing to shell out the cash, you can feel free to give one of these things a shot. At least it's not another drug -- and the only real side effect is probably your spouse laughing at you when you come to bed with underwear on your head.

But why bother?

There are much better ways to get the sleep you need.

They're backed by science. They don't look ridiculous. And they won't cost you an arm and a leg.

I recommend two steps.

First, make sure you have the right conditions for sleep: no caffeine at night, no gadgets in the hour or so before bed, and, of course, a dark and comfortable room.

If you need a little more help, go with the tried-and-true. The "sleep hormone" melatonin is proven to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer without the risks of sleep drugs.

Best of all, you won't look like you're wearing underwear on your head.