How to prevent waking up in the middle of the night

27 Jul 2018, 14:55

NTV Online
Photo: Collected

Not sleeping as well as you’d like on an odd night here and there is fairly common and not particularly worrisome. But when waking up in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning without being able to go back to sleep becomes a pattern, it can be rather troublesome. Finding yourself tossing and turning and unable to fall back to sleep at 3 or 4 in the morning can be distressing, to say the very least. Not only do you feel poorly rested all day the next day, but just lying awake like that at night can cause deep anxiety. To prevent this pattern from becoming routine, you need to clean up your sleeping habits.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent waking up in the middle of the night, every night.

1. De-stress your mind
Stress is closely related to impaired sleep. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with your mind racing and unable to switch it off? Well, don’t be surprised, especially if you went to bed feeling stressed out.
In order to destress your mind before hitting the sack, try and meditate for a few minutes everyday. Meditating can definitely be challenging in the beginning, but just sitting quietly for 15-20 minutes and focusing on your breath a few days a week can be extremely calming and help ease overall stress.

2. Say no to alcohol
Drinking because the occasion demands is different. But opting for a nightcap every night might be the reason you find yourself wide awake when you really need to sleep. Certain studies have found that alcohol is highly effective at suppressing melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. So alcohol might make you feel sleepy initially, but once it wears off, it can have a stimulating effect on the body, thus preventing you from getting the sleep you need.

3. Keep your electronics away
As your body’s ideal bedtime approaches, your body starts to release melatonin. However, your body needs the right cues to be able to start releasing this hormone. Melatonin is produced naturally at night, which is detected by the body by the reduced light entering the eyes. Sitting in front of screens that are lit have the same effect on the body as sitting in a bright room just before hitting the sack would. They are both stimulating and don’t allow for a proper transition to take place. So at least an hour before you want to fall asleep, make sure to keep your devices away and sit in a dimly lit room. Read a book, meditate, whatever helps - but avoid coming in direct contact with bright screens or lights.