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8 ways to fall back asleep after waking in the night

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.3%. 2 min read.

Calm that racing mind and get back to sleep with these eight tips from top sleep and anxiety experts.

"Taking slow deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth using our main respiratory muscle, the diaphragm can help relax the body and mind," said sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

You could try a guided sleep app, "some of which actually embed delta sleep waves," said stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor for Contentment magazine, produced by the American Institute of Stress.

Bring it back to neutral at least a couple of times a day with 5-minute breaks of breath work," said Ackrill.

"It's important not to get worked up about one bad night's sleep because anxiety itself makes it difficult to fall back asleep," said USC's Dasgupta.

"You usually end up trying to determine how much time you have left to sleep and worrying about whether you will fall back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time," Kolla said.

Don't drink before bed, said Kolla, who studies the interaction between sleep disturbances and addictive disorders.

In fact, the No. 1 rule is "no computers, cell phones, and PDAs in bed and at least one hour prior to bed time," said Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky, who directs sleep basic research in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Oh, and one more thing, Polotsky said: "Grab the most boring paper book you can find," because you don't want to read or do anything stimulating when you are trying to fall back asleep.

If you can't get back to sleep after 15 or 20 minutes, get out of bed and go into another room where there is dim light and do something calming until you feel drowsy again.

The idea is to avoid long times in bed where you are not sleeping. "

"We do not want what we call 'dead time' in bed, time where you are in bed trying to fall asleep but not sleeping," Kolla explained.

"In addition we want the bed to be a place that you associate with sleep," Kolla added.

"Bed is only for sleep and sexual activity, nothing else!" Polotsky said.

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