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Experts reveal how to fall back to sleep after waking up in the night
Featured Image Credit: Oleg Breslavtsev/Janiecbros/Getty Images

Experts reveal how to fall back to sleep after waking up in the night

Here are the big do's and don't's.

If you often wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep easily, an expert has you covered.

I'm not sure how much this would work for my sleep demons - my partner recently recorded me literally sitting up and pointing at the window telling him something is coming through it.

But hey, I'm willing to try anything at this point.

And if you're a much more normal sleeper and just wake up in the middle of the night without looking possessed, then fear not, because there are solutions for you. Go save yourself.

If you frequently wake up in the night and are unable to go back to sleep, wiggling your toes while thoughts creep into your mind such as: "Who do I have to get back to on email on Monday morning?" or "Did I remember to turn off the light in the kitchen?" Oh, or one of my anxiety-inducing favourites: "Did I properly lock the front door?"

Well, you could have something called middle of the night insomnia.

Which, according to Science Direct as quoted by Headspace, 'afflicts as much as 35 percent of the population at least a few times a week'.

"Insomnia is serious business—it can increase the risk of stroke, obesity, depression, and a plethora of other conditions," Headspace continues.

Fear not, because San Francisco sleep expert and CEO of LumosTech, Dr. Biquan Luo has some tips and tricks for when you lie awake debating whether to just watch another episode of All The Light We Cannot See.

Do you wake up in the middle of the night?
Pexels/ Mikhail Nilov

Well, straight off the bat, do not - and I repeat, do not - reach for your phone, laptop or TV remote.

And try not to roll over and look at your clock either.

Luo tells The New York Post: "Checking the time can increase stress and make it harder to sleep.

"Additionally, if you check the time on your phone, the contents of the phone may be too stimulating, which further prevents you from relaxing and falling asleep."

Instead, try to stay in bed, maybe test out some breathing exercises to chill yourself out a bit or you could even try white noise machines to get you more in the sleep zone.

Resist the urge to check your phone.
Pexels/ Eren Li

However, Luo notes if you can't fall back asleep within 10 to 15 minutes, then you should get up and find a 'quiet and comfortable' place around the house to do something like 'reading a book' or something else 'calming' to tire yourself out a bit more before you can return to bed.

But why do you wake up in the middle of the night in the first place?

Well, Luo explains our sleep is 'governed by two key factors'.

"Early in the night, it’s the buildup of sleep pressure, our body’s need for rest, that helps us both fall and stay asleep," she continues.

Why does your body wake you up in the middle of the night?
Pexels/ Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush

"Later in the night, our internal clock, known as circadian signaling, plays a crucial role in maintaining sleep."

Where it can go wrong, is if the 'sleep pressure fades' before the next cycle has time to 'fully kick in'.

So, if you keep waking up in the middle of the night, then you should probably take a look at your internal clock.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends keeping a regular bedtime routine, sleeping in a 'cool, quiet place,' and keeping a regular meal schedule.

Not drinking caffeine too soon before you go to bed can really help too, getting regular exercise and avoiding daytime napping.

Happy sleeping!

Topics: Health, World News, Mental Health, News, Science