Dr. Kotler says our sleep problems date back to the invention of the lightbulb. "Televisions and computers and the bright lights they emit keep us awake, because light is a very important cue to stay awake," he says.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is turning on the television late at night. "That bright light fools the brain into thinking it's time to be awake when, in fact, you want darkness," Dr. Kotler says. He recommends getting rid of all lights in your bedroom at night, except for maybe a very dim safety light.

The type of mattress you're using can also make a big difference. "As we get older, we can't sleep as well because we spend less time in our deep, refreshing sleep. We develop medical problems that make us more vulnerable to aches and pains. So really for the adult, a mattress is vital, and it's a very important investment," Dr. Kotler says.

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