Sleeping strategies. (Beating the Clock)

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Date: Mar. 2002
From: Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness(Vol. 63, Issue 3)
Publisher: Weider Publications LLC
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 281 words

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Stick to a schedule. Try to establish a consistent schedule so you go to sleep and wake up about the same time every day, even on your days off. This is the most effective way to keep your body's rhythms in order.

Establish a routine. Creating daily rituals at bedtime can ready your mind and body for sleep. To turn in even when your brain is buzzing, listen to classical music or take a warm bath.

Keep your bedroom dark. Darkness tells the brain it's time to sleep. Use eyeshades or blackout curtains if necessary.

Keep your bedroom cool. This will promote the decline in body temperature, which is critical to restful sleep.

Naps aren't only for kindergartners. Take brief, 10-20-minute power naps if possible to reset your energy level.

Noise control is essential. Unplug the telephone in your room and place the answering machine far from where you can hear it pick up incoming calls. Earplugs can help, too.

Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation, yoga or muscle relaxation can help reduce stress, which can help you fall asleep.

Avoid drugs. Alcohol or over-the-counter sleep aids can actually compromise sleep, so steer clear of both.

Off-Beat Eats

Listen to your stomach. Pay more attention to your inner clock and less to the one on the wall. Eat when you're hungry, not because your watch says it's time.

Plan ahead. Bring plenty of fruits and vegetables to work for snacks. Cook your meals ahead of time and brown-bag them.

Don't skip snacktime. Take frequent healthy snack breaks during your shift.

Keep a food diary. Note what and when you eat. This will detail your eating patterns and help identify problem times or situations.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A82077449