"Everything from body temperature to
stress can keep you tossing and turning," says Carol Ash,
D.O., medical director of the Sleep for Life Clinic at
Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey. Fortunately, three
new studies suggest how you can start snoozing more
quickly, no sheep counting or sleep meds necessary.
- WARM UP YOUR FEET
What's keeping you up this summer may
be an overly air-conditioned room. Slip on some socks: A recent
study in Physiology & Behavior found that wearing them to bed better
regulates body temperature, enabling you to snag some shut-eye.
- EAT A STARCHY DESSERT
Carbs can trigger sleep by
boosting levels of brain chemicals serotonin and tryptophan,
according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A
half cup of dry cereal or a few lowfat cookies four hours before
bed should work without adding too many calories.
- READ YOURSELF A BEDTIME STORY
An engaging book
or magazine article can help you ease into those z's. Australian
researchers found that stressed or anxious people rested easier
when they were distracted from their worries.