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5.45pm have your drink

5.45pm have your drink
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If you enjoy a daily serving of alcohol, have your wine, cocktail, or beer now, before dinner. A late-night cocktail might help you fall asleep at bedtime, but as the alcohol wears off, you’re more likely to have a light, easily broken sleep. And remember: just one drink per day!

This is what happens when you drink a glass of wine every night.

6pm eat a light dinner

6pm eat a light dinner
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One filled with plenty of veggies. Heavy meals mess up your body cycles by drawing blood away to your digestive system, leaving you sleepy in the early evening – when you want to be alert and active. Also, be sure to avoid any food that gives you indigestion. People with chronic heartburn are much more susceptible to insomnia and other sleep disorders, research shows.

8pm dim the lights

8pm dim the lights
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In particular, turn off halogen and fluorescent lights throughout the house and flick on softer 45- to 60-watt lamps to promote the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.

Here are some things to know before taking melatonin to help you sleep.

9pm turn down the volume

9pm turn down the volume
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Any noise louder than 60 decibels (the equivalent of a normal conversation) could keep you up. If you can’t quiet the traffic or the neighbours, mask the sounds with a continuous low hum from an air-conditioner, fan, or radio tuned between stations (you can also download white noise apps). Or turn on some light classical music – one study showed it can increase the length and depth of sleep by as much as 35 per cent, Dr Maas says. Just use an automatic shut-off, so the noise doesn’t rouse you later.

9.15pm take a hot bath

9.15pm take a hot bath
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Numerous studies show that taking a bath at night could help you sleep better. A study published in the journal Sleep found that women with insomnia who took a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime slept much better that night. The bath increased their core body temperature, which then dropped once they got out of the bath, readying them for sleep.

9.30pm adjust the thermostat

9.30pm adjust the thermostat
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Experts say that 18 degrees is the ideal sleeping temperature. Anything warmer can spark neural activity and induce nightmares, while a colder setting will prevent your body from relaxing as it tries to protect your core temperature.

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10pm off with the computer!

10pm off with the computer!
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Make sure you turn off anything with a screen. Start prepping your body for the transition from awake to asleep by taking off your clothes (and putting on your jammies). It’s time to prep your brain and body for bed. From to 10 to 10.30pm, relax, read, listen to music, write in your journal, do some yoga, or have a pleasant conversation with a loved one.

Check out these soothing yoga poses to help you sleep.

10.15pm have a cup of chamomile

10.15pm have a cup of chamomile
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This calming tea is known to help sleep. And while it’s better to have finished your day’s food intake three hours before bedtime, consider a small serving of walnuts, a glass of skim milk, or a banana as a final snack. Each one is a great natural source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid.

10.30pm start your final bathroom routine

10.30pm start your final bathroom routine
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Brush and floss, tend to your skin, nails, and hair, and give yourself a good look-over. Take plenty of time to tend to your personal needs. It’s relaxing, self-affirming, and just plain healthy. It’s also a daily ritual that triggers your mind to get ready for sleep. Studies show that consistent nightly routines improve sleep.

11pm complete darkness

11pm complete darkness
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That means turning your digital alarm clock toward the wall and turning off your cell phone. They emit light that can keep your brain awake. Plus, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you won’t start watching the minutes go by, which just makes you more anxious and aroused. Now, off to dreamland.

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Source: RD Canada

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Dear readers,
Please be advised that our shipment of the June issue of Reader’s Digest Asia in Hong Kong has been delayed by approximately seven days. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Kind regards, Reader’s Digest Editors