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Here's What Not to Do If You Wake Up In the Middle of the Night
A sleep specialist has given some sound advice of what not to do if you wake up in the middle of the night, and yes, not looking at the time is most definitely one of them.
That nagging urge to get up and go to the loo can also hinder us falling back to sleep.
Dr. Michael Breus — a.k.a. the Sleep Doctor and author of The Power of When — has offered some tips on catching some much-needed shut eye if you happen to awake before your alarm, starting with not going to the bathroom, unless you really, really need to.
Dr. Breus claims that by just sitting up in bed, the heart rate increases and disrupts the rate at which your heart should be beating when you sleep. For most people this is 60 beats per minute, but if you get up, your heart has to pump against gravity and therefore at a rate above 60 beats.
In order to reclaim your unconsciousness, your heartbeat has to lower back to 60, which obviously won't happen straight away and is sometimes the reason why it's not always easy to get back to sleep.
Another tip Dr. Breus has shared is no matter how hard it can be, try to relax and make your mind go blank. Don't check your phone to look at the time. However instinctual it is. Seriously, put it down. Panicking while working out the amount of hours sleep left until the alarm goes off is a massive no-no too.
Breus adds that a lot of people — and yes, perhaps us included — have an irrational fear of not getting enough hours kip, but advises not to stress about the hours slipping away.
Instead, the specialist suggests relaxing, however impossible it may seem at the time, because if you get in a flap, you can kiss goodnight to any sleep at all.
He recommends switching off your thoughts and letting sleep happen naturally, without trying to force it.
Sweet dreams for later.
Try this 4-minute meditation video to help you relax before bed.
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