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Infographic shows how to condition your mind and body for better sleep

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We'd love to be one of those Pollyanna characters who leap out of bed every morning and greet the day with the kind of chirpy enthusiasm that makes the world go round and could even fuel revolutions.

Sadly, you are more likely to find us cowering under the duvet with one eye on the clock and the other on our wardrobe, thinking how late we can actually leave it to get up, dressed and out of the door in one piece.

But that strange breed of morning person became that way for a reason. There are certain rules and routines s/he follows to make the quality of their sleep more profound and restorative.

And now the folks over at US phone company Toll Free Forwarding and online marketing group Gryffin Media have created a handy infographic that brings together those rules coupled with scientific facts on the topic to show us exactly how to get a good night's sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

According to the diagram, just 10% of the population are "morning people" - which is reassuring news to us. Twenty percent of us are so-called "night owls" who operate best in the evening, and the rest of us fall somewhere in-between the two categories.

In order to get better quality sleep and become a morning person, says the infographic, you should first look at your exercise routine and aim to workout earlier in the day as opposed to later on - so that the increased body temperature brought on by exercise does not keep you awake. You should also aim to avoid artificial light at night, because it suppresses the production of chemical melatonin, which in turn makes it tricky to sleep.

Next, the infographic looks at diet, suggesting you consume protein during the day and dairy products like milk during the evening, because protein is difficult to digest whereas dairy is rich in the sleep-inducing substance tryptophan. It also suggests cutting back on nicotine, caffeine and alcohol - all of which can disrupt sleep - and advises saving the bedroom for sleeping only, so your brain is conditioned to see it as such.

Scroll down to find out more about ensuring a good night's sleep, including three nifty alarm clock apps that will ease your body into a state of wakefulness come morning.

Photos: Rex Features

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