Waking at Night? What to Do and What Not to Do.
Something we have all experienced is waking up randomly in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. This can lead you to become frustrated and cranky the morning after as your sleep was disturbed.
If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night here are a few things to avoid to help you fall back asleep
- Staring at the clock : Research has proven that individuals with insomnia who regularly check the clock hinder their own ability to fall back asleep. When watching the clock and seeing time pass by, frustration grows as time lessens for you to sleep and when you need to get up. This leads to frustration and heightened stress levels.
- Staying in bed: After 15-30 minutes that you are unable to fall back asleep, it’s recommended to leave your bedroom. This helps to prevent you from conditioning your brain to associate your bed and your state of being awake together. Rather than lying awake for an extended period, engage in a relaxing activity elsewhere, such as meditation or reading a book. When you start to feel tired, return to bed to encourage a smoother transition back to sleep
- Looking at Electronics: Similar to starting at the clock, one may be inclined to browse on their phone. Do not engage in this as the exposure to your phone screen and the light stops the production of melatonin.
Now that we’ve gone over what not to do when trying to fall asleep. Let’s examine some tips that can help you fall back asleep.
- Listening to sounds: It’s been proven that listening to music or white noise can assist in helping people fall back asleep or falling asleep faster. For many, the music can help drown out any background noise that your ears may focus on and it can also trigger a relaxation response. Along with music Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) can also be helpful. Youtube is a great source for ASMR. However when watching these videos ensure your phone screen is faced down and the audio can be head. ASMR
- Breathing: The Sleep foundation recommends deep breathing to fall back asleep. The breathing technique recommended is called 4-7-8 method which involves four seconds of inhalation through the nose, hold the breath of seven seconds and then exhale through the mount for eight second.
- Meditation: According to Mayo Clinic Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
With these tips you’re well on your way to some well needed Rest!