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Open Your Shades As Soon As You Wake Up

When it takes three hits of the snooze button
to get out of bed, you might feel like heading
straight for the coffeepot, but try raising your blinds first.
Natural light is an important cue for your internal clock,
the mechanism in your brain that tells you when to do
everything from sleeping to eating. And research shows
that early-morning exposure to the sun's rays helps
set that clock, making you more alert, increasing your
energy throughout the day, and even boosting your
metabolism. This becomes more important in
winter: "Fewer daylight hours can make you feel more
sluggish and may increase feelings of sadness or
seasonal depression," says Michael Terman, Ph.D.,
director of the Center for Light Treatment at Columbia
University Medical Center. If there aren't many rays
creeping into your room, turn on a white fluorescent
lamp and you'll be ready to face the day and the season.

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