8 tips to a good night's sleep without relying on medicine, from the Harvard Women's Health Watch

With several popular hypnotic sleep aids, including zolpidem (Ambien) and temazepam (Restoril), now linked to an increased risk of death, the July 2012 issue of the Harvard Women's Health Watch offers eight tips for getting a better night's sleep without medicine. Almost everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time. But when insomnia persists day after day, it can become a real problem. Beyond making a person tired and moody, a lack of sleep can have serious effects on health, increasing the risks for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Sleep issues can plague women as they get older. "Later in life there tends to be a decrease in the number of hours slept," says Dr. Karen Carlson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of Women's Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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