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6 ways to get a better night’s rest

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Published : 2014-03-06 18:06
Updated : 2014-03-06 18:06

Between the hustle and bustle of busy days, many people experience shallow sleep and fatigue. To help those people who want to get a good night’s sleep, Popular Science reported a set of tips from sleep experts Bernie Miller, supervisor at the Sleep Disorders Center at Mayo Clinic, Arizona, and Tessa Miller at the how-to site Lifehacker.
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1. Make your bedroom “right” for sleeping

The ideal bedroom should be like a tomb: dark, quiet and cool. They emphasized on the importance of computer-free environment as blue-spectrum light from the computer screen limits the production of melatonin. Suggested ways are to download f.lux that makes digital screens less blue at night and to add thick blackout fabric to the back of curtains.

2. Maintain a regular schedule

“A regular schedule, even on weekends, reinforces natural circadian rhythms,” Millers said. To establish a regular bedtime and waking time without using the snooze button, an iPhone app called BetterMe is a trick to help. It posts to Facebook every time you hit snooze on your phone’s alarm clock. The public shame will get you up in the morning.

3. Take strategic naps

If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes between 12 noon – 4 p.m. to not to interfere with regular sleep cycle. “Sara Mednick’s online nap wheel,” made by a psychologist, suggests the best times to nap.

4. Cut caffeine

Try not to drink caffeinated drinks after noon, as it has a half-life of around five hours and may remain in the system for up to 14 hours. If you must stay awake, try exposing yourself to a blue-hued lamp or screen as studies have shown that they boost focus and accuracy better than caffeine.

5. Exercise

Working out at least four to six hours before bed is the best time to work out as the increased body temperature may keep you awake. A treadmill desk could be helpful to integrate regular exercise habits with your daily schedule.

6. Yes to reading, no to TV

Falling asleep in front of a glowing television can disturb the body clock due to the artificial light. If you do watch TV, set the sleep timer to turn off well before bedtime. Reading a real book or on a non-light-emitting e-reader such as Kindle will help you to get some shut-eye.

By Ha Ji-won, Intern reporter (jiwonha@heraldcorp.com)

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