If you struggle to stay asleep for the entire night you know how that can drain you both physically and mentally.
Insomnia is not uncommon these days with many struggling to fall asleep -but there are ways you can get a restful night’s sleep. Some find that their issue is remaining asleep rather than going to sleep. If this sounds like you, we have some suggestions to combat those early hour awakenings.
There are three recognised stages of sleep; deep, REM and light. Depending on when we experience each of these stages that result in us waking during those early hours.
Deep sleep tends to be the first 1-3 hours of sleep, following this we enter REM or rapid eye movement, in which we enter a lighter sleep. Typically, REM sleep comes in 90-minute cycles, this means that you are more likely to wake up at the end of a cycle.
Dr Neil, a sleep expert, says that natural sleep rhythms are to blame and that during REM stages we often find ourselves a lot more easily disturbed by our surroundings.
It is also during this stage that the likes of birds chirping, a partner snoring, a phone vibrating or the bin men will launch us into consciousness-thus making the return to slumber the most difficult. Laying in bed feeling frustrated will not aid you back into the land of nod, and it is advised that you get up to distance yourself from your bed.
“If you are still awake after 20 minutes, get up and do something like reading. When you are tired enough to sleep again, you will.” Dr Stanley
It has been revealed that sharing a bed is the biggest disruption to sleep, followed closely by the light coming through the windows in summer.
Using your screens in bed before sleep is a no-no due to the emitted blue light which affects the brain’s ability to switch off for the night.
It is not advisable to check your phone if you wake during the night.
Another key suggestion that has been proven to work is reducing the time spent in your bedroom, reserving this only for dressing and sleeping. This does also mean avoiding long lay-ins, watching television or reading the paper in bed.
The more you associate your bedroom with sleep, the more your brain will recognise that when you are in there it is time to switch off for the night.