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Q: I've been having trouble sleeping lately. How can I catch some much-needed zzzs without resorting to chemical sleep aids?

 

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Get some sleep and say buh bye to the sheep!

First, book an appointment with your doctor in case there's an underlying health issue at play. Once you've ruled that out, take a good look at your daily habits: Do you drink coffee in the afternoon or evening? Do you typically eat a big meal or hit the gym before bed? Cut that out! Caffeine, overeating and strenuous exercise aren't going to help your body power down at night. You need to establish a bedtime routine that will help you relax. Put away all work-related materials and stop answering calls and emails at least an hour before you hit the sack; take a warm bath instead. Set a firm bedtime for yourself and stick to it--even on weekends. While you're adjusting to your new regimen, use naps to help cope. A 20- or 30-minute snooze is the ideal midday pick-me-up.

Tonya Rouse Hillenbrand is a certified fitness and nutrition expert, and a former national triathlete and duathlon team member. Click here to send her your questions.