6 tips for falling asleep at night when it's hard to fall asleep

Not only does quality sleep help your body repair itself and improve your mental health, it also lowers your risk of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. However, you may spend sleepless nights due to various factors such as stress. Alexander Sweetman of the Flinders University School of Medicine shares six ways to cut down on bed rest.

How do I stop my mind racing and get some sleep?


◆ 1: Associate bed and sleep
Sweetman recommends practicing the following steps to connect 'getting into bed' and 'sleep'.
Use the bed only for sleep and do other activities outside the bed or in a room other than the bedroom.
Go to bed only if you feel sleepy, and relax in another room if you are not sleepy.
・If you cannot fall asleep after 15 minutes, spend time in another room reading a book or listening to the radio until you feel sleepy. At that time, you should avoid things that are too stimulating, such as work and games.
By repeating these steps until you feel sleepy within about 15 minutes, your body will naturally want to sleep, and you will eventually fall asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed.
・As a precaution, get out of bed at the same time every morning, regardless of how long you slept the night before.
Avoid long naps during the day, as this can make it difficult to sleep at night.

◆ 2: Distract yourself with positive thoughts
Negative thoughts in bed or worrying about the consequences of not being able to sleep can actually make it harder to sleep. So Sweetman recommends doing a '

cognitive refocus ' to replay good memories, favorite movies and TV shows in your head to distract yourself from negative thoughts.

According to Mr. Sweetman, the ideal memory to be reproduced is a memory that causes a little positive emotion that can be recalled clearly. It is said that overly positive or negative memories may lead to poor sleep quality.

◆3: Relax and fall asleep
Relaxing when you can't sleep can reduce your brain's alertness and improve your sleep. As a proper way to relax, Sweetman recommends tensing and relaxing muscles throughout the body.

It is also recommended to try breathing techniques that suit you and comfortable music. On the other hand, working late at night or exposing the display to light just before going to bed interferes with relaxation, so it should be avoided. 'Set up a'blank time' to ensure you have time to relax before you go to bed,' says Sweetman.

◆ 4: Set 'worry time'
To avoid waking up with worries in the middle of the night, it is recommended that you take time during the day to work out your worries, called 'worry time,' or write down your worries. It is also important to write down any concerns that arise during the night and resolve them during the next day.

5: Understand that waking up in the middle of the night is normal
Waking up in your sleep isn't a sign of ill health, it's part of a healthy sleep cycle. Sleep includes different stages such as REM sleep and non-REM sleep . So, if you wake up in the middle of the night, it's normal and shouldn't be taken seriously as a sign of a sleep disorder.

◆ 6: If you still can't sleep
If you've tried these methods and still can't sleep (PDF file ) , a cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia called CBT-i is recommended.

CBT-i aims to address the underlying causes of insomnia, leading to long-term improvements in sleep, mental health and more. Participation in CBT-i can be diagnosed at a specialized hospital, and it is also possible to access an online program .

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut