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Women's Health

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75 Ways To Be Your Healthiest Ever

Smart ways to stay well, eat right, get fit

4 Sleep Helpers

In 1896, GH advised insomniacs, "Upon retiring ... take a bowl of hot broth, like oatmeal gruel or clam soup." Our contemporary advice:

1. Chill, baby, chill. A cool bedroom lowers core body temperature, which initiates sleepiness. How cool? The ideal temp varies from person to person (and from husband to wife!), but try 65 degrees to start.

2. Hire a specialist — online. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps even longtime insomniacs sleep better. Try the online course developed by a Harvard researcher at$25); also on CD.

3. Turn off appliances. Artificial light (from lamps, TVs, maybe even a glowing clock) can keep you up. But if it's still not dark enough, try a sleep mask. The favorite in GHRI testing: Bucky's 40 Blinks Mask ($13).

4. Practice tai chi. When researchers compared this Eastern meditative martial art with standard health education programs, tai chi won — heads down — in improving both sleep quality and duration.

Coffee Perks

It's fortunate our national java habit (the average coffee drinker downs three cups a day) turns out to be good for us. Coffee is rich in antioxidants, and (surprise) caffeine can also be a health booster. The brew has been linked to:

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Better memory and other cognitive functions
Reduced chances of non-melanoma skin cancer
Wider-awake days

But there's a trick to getting the most from your caffeine: Drink two ounces every hour or so through the morning and at lunchtime — then stop in early afternoon. Gulping a grande at breakfast may be followed by a crash later in the day

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