Getting a good night’s sleep in a busy world

WASHINGTON – In a busy, modern world where work and technology constantly demand attention, getting a full night’s sleep can be a battle. MSN’s Healthy Living offers an easy guide to eliminating obstacles to get some Z’s.

Exercise

Being active is key to reducing sleep problems in women, Dr. Chris Kline, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor, tells MSN. It also helps regulate body temperature and ease mood problems.

Kline also says early evening exercise might be best.

Lower the lights

Before going to bed, turn off or lower the lights. Darkness signals the body that it’s time to rest. Harsh white lighting also can affect sleep because of its blue component, which suppresses the release of melatonin, says Dr. Michael Terman, an expert on light and biological rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dim the screen

With an hour before bedtime, it’s a good idea to dim the computer or TV screen, as they produce the same blue light as bulbs.

A program called f.lux can be downloaded to computers to automatically adjust screen brightness as the day progresses.

Right before bed

Half an hour before bed time, it’s time to turn off the screens. It might also be helpful to read a book that isn’t suspenseful or related to work or school.

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