Advice for stress-free days, sleep-filled nights.

To do today: work projects, school activities, sports practice, music lessons, neighborhood meeting, household chores, and family time. Oh — and somewhere on your list, try to find time for a good night’s sleep.

“We all have too much to do, so be sure to derive the greatest benefit from your time in bed,” stated Andrea Herman, director of the Better Sleep Council. “How well you sleep at night can make all the difference in how productive and stress-free you’ll be the next day, whether you’re scrubbing the bathrooms before house guests arrive or rushing to the grocery store to stock up.”

Like proper nutrition and exercise, sleep is essential to feel your best. Because we all want to stay healthy, it’s important that we get the best night’s sleep possible every night.

To help ensure relaxing days and sleep-filled nights, the Better Sleep Council offers the following tips:

1) Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. As hard as it may be to put away your “to do” list, make sleep a priority. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

2) Take care of yourself. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine and smoking, all of which can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. Regular exercise can help relieve tension and stress.

3) Unwind early in the evening. Finish chores and run errands early in the evening so you can clear your mind and relax before bedtime.

4) Keep regular hours. Go to bed around the same time each night and wake up close to the same time each morning to keep your biological clock in check.

5) Create a restful place to sleep. Be sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark, and that you are sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. A bed that’s too small, too soft, too hard or too old can rob you of sleep.

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For more information on getting a good night’s sleep or on buying a new mattress, visit the Better Sleep Council’s Web site at

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