The expert: David N. Neubauer, MD, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The sleep secret: "I sleep with a bedside fan every night, no matter what the temperature. If the fan's not on, I will definitely have difficulty falling asleep. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that white noise can be soothing because it blocks out sudden variations in sound—like a barking dog, or a car alarm—that can lighten our sleep or wake us. It also creates ventilation, and we know that people tend to sleep best in cooler temperatures—try keeping the room at a temp that you would describe as a little chilly when you're not covered up. When I'm traveling, I often buy a small fan for the hotel room. It's worth it to help block out unfamiliar noise and let me get the sleep I need."
Sleep disappointment: "I think the 'no reading in bed' rule makes sense for chronic insomniacs, but I find reading relaxing. I feel like I can put the book down when I get tired."