Five steps to get back to sleep

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Five steps to get back to sleep

Most of us awake briefly during the night, but we won’t often remember it.

If you are waking up during the night and having trouble falling back asleep, the following tips may help.

  • Check your environment Are you comfortable, is the room cool with no ambient light, drafts etc. Keep your limbs out from the covers – a preserved core temperature with cool limbs is associated with deep sleep.
  • Remain calm and keep the light off the key to getting back to sleep is not to interfere with the bodies usual triggers and rhythms for sleep. Remain in bed in a relaxed position. Hard as it may be, try not to get stressed by being awake, concentrate on the position of your limbs or joints or the feelings of temperature or pressure on your body rather than stress over the fact that you’re awake. Don’t look a the clock or turn the light on if possible.
  • Try to relax, not force sleep. If you find it hard to fall back to sleep, try to relax using meditation or controlling your breathing. Whilst these don’t replace sleep, rest and relaxation can rejuvenate your muscles and body.
  • Keep quiet and avoid screens. If after 15 minutes you’re still awake, try getting out of bed and doing a quiet, non-stimulating activity, such as reading a book. Keep the lights down low and don’t switch on your  body clock. Avoid screens of any kind—their light ( computers, IPads, mobile phones) is very stimulating to the brain. A light snack or herbal tea might help relax you, but don’t eat too much.
  • Set a time to worry. If you are anxious or thoughts are racing, set a time in the day when you can revisit those thoughts for careful consideration, perhaps write it down both good ideas or less constructive thoughts. Try concentrating on something with no inherent meaning, counting sheep is the old wives tale but perhaps contemplating or repeating the word “the” may take your mind off the disturbing thoughts.

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This article was written by admin

With specialist interest in sleep medicine, Dr Pepperell is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of snoring, and in dealing with sleep apnoea, respiratory failure and pleural disease. He has a strong research background and has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications on sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease, and currently runs an active research programme, as well as editing Journal submissions and writing Medicolegal reports on Asbestos related disease, personal injury and occupational lung disease. Dr Pepperell has also developed advanced techniques in bronchoscopy and medical thoracoscopy and established a sleep laboratory and medical thoracoscopy service for the investigation of pleural fluid collections.