Have you ever lain awake, waiting for sleep to come? Many experts suggest that if you’re awake for more than 20 minutes, that you should get out of bed. An assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Center, Shelley Hershner, suggested moving to a dark and quiet room and then going back to bed when you feel sleepy again (BedTimes).
This trick has a name, the “sleep stimulus.” She recommends this strategy over staying in bed due to something known as “sleep pressure.” This is where you fight to fall asleep, which only makes it more difficult to do so. Often, this can lead to an increase in the production of stress hormones, heart rate, and general anxiety (Today).
So next time you’re having difficulty falling asleep, try a change in your environment. Grab a pillow and blanket and head to the couch for a bit or try some meditation. Even adding some white noise like a fan or noise machine can help you relax enough to fall asleep (Today).
Of course, having a proper bed helps too!
BedTimes. “A Simple Trick to Beat Insomnia.” BedTimes, June 2017, bedtimesmagazine.com/2017/06/simple-trick- beat-insomnia/. Accessed 20 July 2017.
Bucklin, Stephanie M. “The 1 thing to do when you can’t fall back asleep.” Today, 15, April 2017, today.com/series/one-small- thing/1-thing- do-when- you-can- t-fall- back-asleep- t110304. Accessed 20 July 2017.