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September 2005

Camping Sleep Tips: Rest Assured

Get more and better Z's with these tricks from a sleep expert.

Instead of dreaming of tomorrow’s summit glory, you’re lying there imagining an insomnia-induced bonk mid-climb. Wasn’t that thicker pad and warmer bag supposed to prevent sleepless nights? Try these strategies from Gary K. Zammit, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Institute in New York City.

Bring a comfort object Like kids, adults sleep better with familiar things. Try toting your pillowcase (stuff it with clothing) or your usual pajamas.

Stick to your routine A change in habit can disrupt sleep, says Dr. Zammit. Letterman is out, but otherwise do what you typically do before bed–sip tea, brush your teeth, read a book.

Control the environment Block out chirping crickets with earplugs and moonlight with an eye mask.

Stop thinking Anxiety exaggerates the problem. Remedy: Listen to your breathing or count sheep–really, it works.

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