Sleep Better Tonight

Daily Health Solutions,Sleep
May 1, 2009

Expert advice for a good, long snooze.

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The Sleep Doctor: Jodie Mindell, author of Sleep Deprived No More and National Sleep Foundation advisory board member
Avoid bright light at least 30 minutes before going to bed¨Ûincluding that from the TV or computer. Light governs your internal clock and suppresses melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel tired. The absence of light stimulates production of this hormone, so you feel sleepier. 

The Nutritionist: Cheryl Forberg, consulting nutritionist for The Biggest Loser
Try a pre-bed snack that includes tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness, and carbohydrates. Examples include a small bowl of oatmeal with milk, half a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, or a 6-ounce banana smoothie made with milk. 

The Alternative Medicine Expert: Dr. Steven Tan, complementary and alternative medicine director at the California Health & Longevity Institute
Develop a ritual to break the connection between sleep and the stress of the day. A few to try: Make a list of any pressing issues and a possible plan for dealing with them, or simply look at favorite photos that relax and calm you.