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While wireless sensor networks have important applications in many fields, the limited battery life and high deployment cost pose serious challenges. One way to maintain good coverage and extend the network lifetime is to deploy sensors in high density and schedule them to sleep between active cycles. In this paper, we propose an algorithm to schedule the sensors to sleep based on the area of overlapped coverage by neighboring sensors. We study the performance of this algorithm with a heuristic test point method, then present a distributed method that can be used in actual implementation. Simulations results show that this algorithm achieves better performance in lifetime and coverage than other algorithms.