7 Ideas to Help Change Your Ways

Little habit alterations can make a big difference when bedtime comes.

By Ellen Michaud with Julie Bain from Sleep to Be Sexy Smart and Slim


  • 3.

    Keep a Worry Book.

    “Put a ‘worry book’ beside your bed,” suggests UCLA’s Dr. Yan-Go. When you wake and start worrying, jot down everything you’re worrying about and any strategies you’ve thought of that will solve the problems to which they’re related. Then close the book, put it on your nightstand, turn out the light, and go back to sleep. Your worries will be waiting for you in the morning.

  • 4.

    Forget Anderson.

    Given the fact that most late-night newscasts tend to feature murder, mayhem, and man’s inhumanity to man, these are bound to turn on every arousal mechanism your body owns. No way are you going to drift into a peaceful sleep after 30 to 60 minutes of watching violence and disturbing stories. So ditch the late news. Watch it in the morning when that shot of adrenalin it triggers will help you fight rush-hour traffic.

  • 5.

    Forget Stephen

    . Stephen King thrillers and every other scary book are absolutely verboten if you expect to sleep, says Becky Wang-Cheng, M.D., a medical director at Kettering Medical Center in Ohio. No one sleeps when they’re expecting something from under the bed to grab them. Kids aren’t the only ones afraid of monsters.

  • 6.

    Forget Howard.

    Like to catch the foul ball’s late-night reruns on satellite radio? Keep the Shock Jock on morning-drive time. For some people it’s hard to sleep after that much — um — “stimulation.”

  • 7.

    Have Sex Instead.

    Enjoy a quickie, suggests Dr. Wang-Cheng. Some 44 percent of midlife women say they don’t have time for sex. But the Big O is still one of the most sleep-inducing agents around. Just don’t forget to protect yourself against an unanticipated side effect that could appear nine months later. Now that would really trash your sleep! 

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