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Can't sleep? 4 tips to catch up on your zzz's

It's about that time of year, babes—when the schoolwork starts piling up and your social life starts heating up.  Sure, that all sounds great, but what about when it starts eating into your snooze time? Growing girlies should be aiming for a decent supply of zzzs: About 8 hours each night. But with everything going on, sometimes it’s hard to turn of your whirring brain. We’ve got a list of ways to help you slip into that slumber more easily.

Get into the groove
When your brain knows what to do, it all just happens. Come up with some kind of routine for right before you go to bed and your bod will come to recognize the drill. Set a soothing playlist to come on at the same time every night, or a delve into a good read for 15 minutes to get your mind off of the day-to-day grind.

Become okay with the fact that sometimes, that super-sleepy urge just isn't going to come down on you right away.  Instead of getting all disgruntled over not being able to sleep (that only keeps you up longer after all), use that time to relax yourself. Turn off the TV, shut down your comp and just veg out. Make a cup of hot tea, or try sitting cross-legged on your bed and doing 5 minutes of meditation, or a few yoga stretches. Removing yourself from electronics will help your brain realize it’s time to turn itself off, too.

Just breathe
When you're finally laying down and alone with your thoughts, it may seem like a great time to think things through. But, if your thoughts are roaming all over the place, you'll be having ten times more trouble getting some shut-eye. Focus instead on your breathing. After taking a few feel-good deep breaths, your entire body settles down into rest mode.  Why do you think yoga is so calming, after all? To top it off, just thinking about breathing in and out is a great way to clear your head.

In the dark
Even the tiniest glare can disturb your sleep cycle, be it a hall light or a glimmer from an alarm clock.  Be sure to turn those offenders off or at least turn the clock towards the wall. Invest in a silky sleepmask to effectively block out all lights. This might also help your mind realize that it’s time to say goodnight!

BY JORDAN SARNOVSKY ON 11/3/2011 2:00:00 PM

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