Waking at night

Post your questions on sleep disorders here.

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Jody
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:26 am
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by Jody on Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:18 pm

Waking at night

What are the best methods for falling back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night?

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Dr Sarah Gilchrist
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:12 pm
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by Dr Sarah Gilchrist on Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:58 am

Re: Waking at night

Morning Jody

Thanks for your question. It's a really common question and there are several things you can try.

Start by considering what it might be that's waking you up? For example, (and reasons could be many), Are you living in a noisy area? Are there bright street lights around your bedroom? Do you share a bedroom with a shift worker? ARe you under a period of stress and/or anxiety? Age can also be a factor e.g. menopause related night sweats.

If you can identify something specific then you can try some strategies to eliminate it e.g. ear plugs, eye mask, blackout blinds. If its non-specific try some relaxation techniques e.g. mindfulness, stress reduction strategies (e.g. talking therapies) or even cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

If you're awake for more than 30 minutes then take your self out of the bedroom and sit in a calm, dimly lit room, perhaps with a warm milky drink. Try some relaxation techniques here e.g. light reading, gentle music and then return to bed when you're sleepy. More strategies can be found on The Sleep Charity website.

Also its common to have the odd bad night's sleep and most people can overcome this with returning to a normal sleep patter the following night and some decent coffee in the day (although not too much after lunchtime)! However, if you're persistently waking up numerous times a night for three months or more or can't get to sleep on a regular basis, it maybe you are experiencing insomnia symptoms so then seek advice form your GP.

Hope that helps.
Dr Sarah Gilchrist
Specialist in sleep and athletic performance

https://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/c ... -gilchrist

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