Set the conditions for sleep to occur by allowing your body to wind down before bedtime. "Instead of working before bed, spend some quiet time before turning in," she says.
Although regular exercise is important and actually leads to better sleep, don't exercise more than two hours before bedtime, Brayford says.
* Eat well on a regular basis.
"When we eat on an irregular basis, our bodies get confused and don't know what to expect next," says Lisa Beckley, a registered dietitian an clinical nutrition manager at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. "Eat healthy foods on a regular basis and your body will follow a natural rhythm," she says.
Burning calories takes your body several hours, so don't eat less than four or five hours before bedtime.
* Be aware of body-clock disrupters.
In addition to going to bed late, there are several things that can throw off your body clock, including travel and shift work.
To best deal with jet lag, experts suggest sticking with the new time zone as much as possible. "If you arrive on the East Coast and it's dinner time, then have dinner and try to go to sleep at East Coast time," Beckley says.
You may even want to prepare yourself before traveling east by getting up early and exposing yourself to light several mornings before leaving. At your destination, get light in the morning whenever possible.
One of the biggest causes of body clock misalignment is constant shift work.
"Those people who work the graveyard shift during the week or intermittently are living in an inverted time zone, which can lead to health problems, sleep disorders and even fatal accidents," Mosko says.
Experts suggest that people who do shift work stick to the same schedule throughout the week, when possible. Also try to get home before the sun comes up and sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room.
* Don't fight your clock.
"If you feel really good when you get up at 7 a.m. and function well during the day, then try to get up at that hour every day, and you'll be rewarded with optimum performance," Brayford says.