How to get back to sleep when you wake up in the night

Anya Meyerowitz, Roanna Day
·2-min read
Photo credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman - Getty Images

From Red Online

When was the last time you slept through the night? The average person wakes up between 10-15 times a night according to sleep therapist Nerina Ramlakhan, and that number is likely to have increased during the pandemic, where anxiety and stress levels have heightened.

Ramlakhan explained that while it's normal for us to wake through the night, harking back to our sleeping-in-caves-watching-out-for-mountain-lions days, what's less normal and a symptom of our modern lifestyles is the onslaught of thoughts, anxieties and buzzing white noise that greets up when we wake up.

Our nervous system can actually be nervous the sleep expert explained and when we wake, and then immediately do the mental maths to work out how much time we've got left in bed and how tired we're going to the next day, we're triggering that flighty rumbling, nervousness that persists as we fight desperately to claim back our beauty sleep.

One of the most important pieces of advice shared by Nerina, while she emphasised the importance of prioritising our sleep life, was how to get back to sleep when you wake up.

How to get back to sleep

Try this simple exercise next time you wake up in the night and don't underestimate it's ability to send you swiftly back into slumber.

  1. Close your eyes.

  2. Say the below slowly in your head, if you forget where you are or lose track then start again from the beginning.

I love my right foot

I love my right big toe

I love my right little toe

I love all the toes in my right foot

I love the top of my right foot

I love the bottom of my right foot

I love my right ankle

I love my left foot ...

Not only does this exercise work to posture your body and mind better for sleep it means you fall asleep in a haze of self love and affirmation. We're sold.

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