Problems with sleeping and how to fix them by Rituals

We all have experienced nights of poor sleep – perhaps because of a difficult conversation with a partner or a lover. Indeed, most of us will not sleep well at some point.

21 April 2020

There are three main steps with sleep that can be difficult to overcome. The first is the difficulty of falling asleep. The second is maintaining sleep. And the third is waking up too early. Here are some strategies to overcome each of these difficulties.

Difficulty in falling asleep

One way to get over the difficulty of falling asleep is to have a journal or notebook next to the bed. If you notice that you are still busy thinking, write or make a list of everything that is going through your mind. Another good strategy is to introduce progressive muscle relaxation as part of your routine before trying to go to sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise you can when you are in bed: close your eyes and then tense and relax your muscles in groups (from toes to eyes and facial muscles), inhaling when tensed and exhaling when relaxed.


Difficulty in maintaining sleep

It is quite normal for us to wake up once or twice to go to the bathroom; seven or eight hours are quite long periods of time. If you have a brightly lit watch, remove it from the bedroom. It can be stressful waking up and seeing the time, so it will hard to fall asleep again. When you wake up, get up and just do what you have to do (such as going to the bathroom, for example). Don't turn on many lights, return to bed and go back to sleep. But if you notice that you can’t sleep again, get out of bed, go to another room or dark area of the room and read a couple of pages of a book in soft light. You can also meditate. It is important that you get out of bed and come back only when you are tired and ready to fall asleep again. This way you can recover sleep more quickly and of a higher quality.


Waking up too early

If you wake up too early in the morning and can't go back to sleep, follow the advice above. Try to resist the urge to grab your computer or phone. These devices emit blue light and it will make it more difficult to fall asleep again. But if you only have one or two hours to get up, it may be a good idea to just start the day early.

These problems are frequently experienced by many people. Such strategies can help you overcome these difficulties if they occur from time to time. But it is also important to know that if these problems are chronic (that is, they recur every night) and our tips don't work, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder that requires medical attention. There are 89 different sleep-related disorders. Insomnia, or the continued repetition of one or more of the difficulties cited above, is one of the most common and affects between 15 and 20% of the population. Sleep apnoea is another disorder that affects between 10 and 12% of the population. Sleep apnoea is accompanied by snoring and repetitive pauses in breathing owing to a collapse of the upper airway during sleep. Apnoea is a serious problem and if you (or a loved one) snore a great deal or if it seems that you frequently cough or choke at night, consult your doctor (or encourage your loved one to do so).

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