Tips to get a better night's sleep

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Sleep experts say one in three Americans wake up in the morning feeling exhausted and wish they could go back to bed.

Some teachers and students at IUPUI are calling attention to this growing health crisis Tuesday by hosting a Sleep Walk through parts of campus and downtown Indianapolis.

It's part of a four-week sleep challenge to get students, faculty and staff more sleep.

Eyewitness News talked to some sleep-deprived, working women about how lack of sleep affects them.

"Sluggish, irritable, tough to be a good mom, good employee," said Jennifer Simmons.

"I'm pretty tired and taking care of three kids, it's pretty exhausting," said Natalie Hurt.

Courtney Howell said, "I get by. It doesn't make me feel great, lethargic and just kind of tired going into the next day."

The women are proof that when you don't get enough sleep, it affects every aspect of your life, from physical to mental.

When you're sleep-deprived, you don't think as well, you can't work through problems smoothly, you tend to be more stressed and moodier, and because you're compromising your immune system, you're more prone to life-threatening diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

What are the best ways to get more sleep?

The first two you've heard.

Limit your screen time, because it wakes up the brain.

While a glass of wine is before bed can be relaxing and help you fall asleep, doctors say your sleep isn't as restful and you wake up more often.

The last two may be a little more surprising.

Gentle exercise is helpful, particularly late afternoon and early evening, because it raises your body temperature and as it comes back down, it relaxes you and promotes good sleep.

Also, 15 minutes of morning daylight help regulate your body clock.

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