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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
From Night Owl to Early Bird?
Having children is one of many factors that can disrupt the sleep schedules of adults.   ((c) Micah Sittig)

(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.

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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. (Read more sleep stories.)

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