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5 Secret Sleep Stealers

You know drinking coffee or watching TV crime shows before bed can wreck your sleep, but have you heard about these other habits that can keep you lying awake at night?

Crankin' tunes. Fast-paced, high-energy music increases your heart rate, says James Maas, Ph.D., author of Power Sleep. You'll snooze better and longer if you listen to soft, slow music about an hour before going to bed.

Facing the clock. The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that make up the illuminated numbers on your digital clock can be bright enough to shine through your closed eyelids, says Maas. Ditto for LED displays on VCRs and DVDs. Turn these away from you (or cover them).

Warming up. A toasty room may seem comfy, but being overheated can bring on emotional dreams, even nightmares. Set the thermostat to 65, crack a window, or sleep in lightweight pj's.

Applying beauty creams or lotions. Jasmine, peppermint, and citrus aromas have a stimulating effect, studies show. Leave those scents for your morning routine. Now's the time for lavender, vanilla, or unscented products.

Surfing the Web. Like a TV's, a computer screen's image is made up of flickering dots that stimulate your brain, as does the bright light. Log off an hour before bedtime.

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