If you've been having trouble sleeping, whether it's lately or throughout your entire life, researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston looked into what's keeping us awake, and they've got some tips for you to try.

The best thing about these ideas is that they shouldn't cost you much of anything, and could change your life for the better.

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Too Much Light In Your Bedroom Is Not Only Keeping You From Sleeping Properly, It Could Lead To Serious Health Issues

Everyone has a bout of sleeplessness, or insomnia from time to time, but according to Michigan Health, women are twice as likely to suffer from it than men are.

Several issues play into an insomnia problem (stress, hormones, poor diet, etc.), but the Northwestern University study shows that heart rates rise and the body can’t rest properly when there’s light in a bedroom. When that happens, you raise your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

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Even Moderate Light Levels In The Bedroom While You Try To Sleep Can Cause Health Problems

Dr. Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician:

There is already evidence that light exposure during daytime increases heart rate via activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which kicks your heart into high gear and heightens alertness to meet the challenges of the day.

Our results indicate that a similar effect is also present when exposure to light occurs during nighttime sleep. Even though you are asleep, your autonomic nervous system is activated. That’s bad. Usually, your heart rate together with other cardiovascular parameters are lower at night and higher during the day.

Shot of a young woman sleeping with a mask on in bed
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If You Want To Cut Bedroom Light, Here Are A Couple Of Things To Try

  • Keep your bedroom lights low or off. If you need a night-light for safety, make sure it's somewhat dim, and close to the floor out of your sightline.
  • Keep white or blue light away from the bedroom. Research has shown that amber, or red-orange colored light is better for you during sleep time because it's less stimulating for your brain.
  • Grab yourself a sleep mask (like the woman in the photo above), or what are called "blackout shades," and make sure to move your bed so that outside light doesn't shine on you.

Click here to read the results of the Northwestern University study.

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