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HELOISE: A restful routine

Dear Heloise: With our lives so busy and stressful, all I want is a good night's sleep. Do you have any hints to help me achieve this? -- Melissa W. in Colorado

Aren't we all exhausted and hoping for that perfect night of sleep? The National Sleep Foundation has some hints that may help:

• Keep a nighttime routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time. And yes, unfortunately, this means on weekends, too.

• Exercise, but try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.

• Make sure your room is prepared for sleep, from comfortable bedding to the perfect cool temperature. You also want to limit noise and electronics, if possible.

If you are having trouble falling asleep, do not just lie there. Go to another room to read for a short time. Hopefully, you will start to feel more tired after some relaxing reading time. -- Heloise

P.S.: Take a look around the bedroom to see how many "light-emitting" things there are. I counted four in our bedroom!


Dear Heloise: In response to your question about people leaving paper towels on the restroom floor: One reason is that we've been warned about germs on counters, door handles, shopping carts, etc. People wash their hands and take the used towel to the door to wrap around the handle. If the establishment puts a trash can close to the door, they will open the door, use a shoulder to keep it open and toss the used towel in the trash. They toss the towel on the floor when the trash can is on the other side of the room -- or they take a bad shot and miss it. -- Pat, via email

Good point, and I do hope restaurants and other public places take note. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I found a cat one day, and I made fliers to hang to find the owner. Oftentimes, fliers get wet or damaged, and you can no longer read them. To avoid this, I made the fliers, cut them to size and put them in large plastic zippered bags. Then I hung them around the neighborhood. The signs lasted much longer, and I found the cat's owner! -- A Reader in Texas


Dear Heloise: I read your column regarding poison prevention in the Ventura County (Calif.) Star. One suggestion that I felt should be included is to store all poisons in their original, labeled containers. Often, folks who need a small amount of a chemical will pour it into another container (a cup or glass), making it appear to be water or some other drinkable liquid. This can be very dangerous. -- A Reader, via email