In thinking about living life well, most of us would acknowledge that sleep plays an important part. That said, there are times when we all have disturbed nights. Perhaps you find you drop off easily but wake up in the small hours and have trouble getting back to sleep. If that’s the case, we hope some of the techniques below might help.
things to try if you wake in the night
- Counting backwards from 500
- Slow breathing – breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6
- If you are too hot, try to visualise yourself lying on cool grass, sand or snow
- If you really can’t get back to sleep, try getting up and going into a different room for a while to read (perhaps poetry or something soothing) or listen to calming music until you feel sleepy again
- If you are awake because of worries or something you have to do in the morning, try writing down the thoughts that are bothering you
- Some gentle stretches can also help
The Benefits of a nap
You may find yourself very tired during the day and needing a nap, but don’t feel guilty about it. Research has found that an afternoon sleep, even as little as 10 minutes, can improve memory as well as restoring energy and concentration.
Bringing to mind soothing images, such as a sleeping cat, can help trigger feelings of relaxation and provide a useful gateway to sleepDr Arlene K Unger
In case you’d like to read more from Dr Arlene K Unger, we recommend her book, Sleep – 50 Instant Exercises for a Restful Night
Until next time, stay safe and sleep well,
Claire and Sam