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Deprivation Nation: How Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Diabetes

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How to Sleep Better

By Holly Pevzner

Need help getting to -- and staying in -- dreamland? We've got 8 easy ways to transform your sleep habits.

1. Redecorate

"Push the head of your bed flush to the wall," says Carol Ash, DO, medical director of the Sleep for Life Program in Hillsborough, New Jersey. "This increases your unconscious sense of security, which promotes restful sleep."

2. Get Sweaty

"Exercising in the morning helps you drift off faster and improves sleep quality," says Sam Fleishman, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "If you can't do an a.m. workout, get it in at least two to three hours before bed." The reason? Exercise raises body temperature; several hours later it dips back. Your body needs to cool down to go to sleep.

3. Have a Piece of Fruit

Eat a snack that's caffeine- and alcohol-free, not too spicy, and easy to digest, like apple slices with peanut butter. Noshing about two hours before turning in staves off middle-of-the-night hunger pangs but won't overstimulate your digestive system, which could keep you up.

4. Shut Down

Thirty minutes before bed, say no to the TV and computer. Their pulsing lights signal the brain to stay awake.

5. Enter Darkness

Pull the blackout curtains tight! Even a minimal amount of light can decrease sleep quality and alter your normal sleep rhythm.

6. Cuddle Up

Got a partner who doesn't snore? Ask to be spooned. "It's a very comforting position to be in to help you relax," Dr. Ash says.

7. Do Something Different

"If you've been tossing and turning for 20 minutes, get out of bed," Dr. Ash says. You don't want to start associating bed with frustration. "I encourage patients to have a sleep kit with items they can use in the middle of the night to help them relax, like knitting or catalogs to thumb through."

8. Wake to Music

While it's best to awaken naturally, if you can't, find a way to start the day that's not too jarring. "Try swapping your buzzer-sounding alarm clock for one that plays music instead. If it doesn't do the trick, increase the volume or try a clock that beeps," says Shelby Harris, an assistant professor of neurology and psychology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

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EthanChong wrote:

Wow, interesting! However, there is a natural and efficient cure to sleep deprivation currently. Simply go to for more info

8/4/2013 02:06:54 AM Report Abuse
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6/18/2012 04:46:09 AM Report Abuse
cabrooker1 wrote:

Go to to get real advice on how to treat insomnia from a Cleveland Clinic-trained Sleep Doctor and Neurologist, Dr. Craig Brooker, M.D.

12/2/2011 03:18:26 PM Report Abuse
Jon.Parker wrote:

I have type 2 diabetes. I have read a lot of articles on this and this one is on the money. The part that inspired me to comment was the information that I hope will incourage my kids to adjust some of thier bad habits. Very interesting studies that relate to most young people today. Thanks for the info.

8/25/2011 02:33:12 PM Report Abuse
limam11 wrote:

What if you CANNOT sleep longer than 6 hours? I do NOT use an alarm to wake up, and if I try to go to bed earlier - I just wake up earlier!

8/24/2011 10:05:50 AM Report Abuse

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