From Night Owl to Early Bird?

Altering caffeine, light, can help mold sleep patterns
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 12:05 PM CST
Having children is one of many factors that can disrupt the sleep schedules of adults.   ((c) Micah Sittig)
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(Newser) – For those wide-eyed deep into the night, rising and shining with the early birds might seem like an elusive dream that comes to a jarring end each morning. But for this 5% to 30% of the population, understanding circadian rhythms can benefit their tired eyes more than chugging coffee. The Wall Street Journal's health columnist looks at ways to catch some Zs.

Cutting caffeine after 6pm is an obvious first step, but light also plays a big role in determining wakefulness. Your brain needs dimness well before bedtime to get ready for shutdown. Says a sleep doc: "You want it to be as dark as possible." Eliminating alcohol and electronic gadgets from the bedroom also helps. And finally, there's the obvious solution: going to bed earlier.