Can’t Sleep? Wait for 10 Minutes and Get Up! - Sleeping Advice from the Experts

By Rebecca Lewis on September 06, 2012

Do you always find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and finding it hard to get back to sleep? Interruptions in our sleeping patterns, especially at night mark the start of insomnia. Get enough rest – that has always been the doctor’s advice. But resting could be impossible if you wake up each night for nothing.

Tossing and turning isn’t the solution to this problem, experts suggest. Instead of watching the clock ticks and hoping you finally drift to slumber, it’s more sensible to get up and leave your room, at least for a moment.

Being worried about how long you’ve been awake could make the situation worse, explained Dr Russell Rosenberg, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation. Rather, it perpetuates insomnia. Instead of looking at the clock, he suggests guessing how long you’ve been lying there, awake. If after like 10 minutes, you’re still awake, it’s time to get up.

Doesn’t it make you more awake?

Not really. Although you might find it more comfortable to just lie on the bed, getting up and going out from your room makes perfect sense. According to Dr Rosenberg, the harder you try to get back to sleep, the more it becomes difficult.

He recommends doing something mildly entertaining but sedate like reading a book, listening to music, meditating and doing some relaxation exercises. You may want to do them in the living room because you want to think of your bedroom as a place to sleep, and not to do other activities, pointed out Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, medical director of the Stanford Centre for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. Don’t try doing anything that would prevent you to doze off. These include watching television, browsing the internet, or playing games on your iPad or android phone. The light coming from the TV or computer screen can make your brain believe that it’s daytime, Rosenberg warned. In addition to this, research has shown that one of the major causes of insomnia is the use of iPad. It was revealed that the light emitted by electronics reduce the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. 

He also cited a couple of exceptions to this approach. If you’re into medications that make you feel wobbly and dizzy, or if you are having some balance issues, there’s no need to get up from bed. Having a regular bedtime schedule can help too. You must also avoid drinking coffee or anything that has caffeine before going to sleep. And lastly, go and see a doctor. He could provide more sleep advice and at the same time, check for any other possible reason for your sleeping problems.


Source of this article:

National Sleep Foundation

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