This doctor-approved "weird sleep hack" is going viral on TikTok

·2-min read
Photo credit: andresr - Getty Images
Photo credit: andresr - Getty Images

If I fall asleep now, I'll have five hours sleep. If I fall asleep now, I'll have four hours and 32 minutes sleep. If I fall asleep now I'll have four hours and 17 minutes sleep.

If you've ever found yourself struggling to fall asleep, frantically counting down the hours, minutes, seconds and even milliseconds of shut-eye you'll fit in if you could just! drift! off! then you're not alone. In fact, many of us are familiar with this very scenario, with a recent study finding that 36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis – at least!

Thankfully, it seems there might be a solution to our bleary-eyed problem, courtesy of TikTok's Dr Karan Raj. Taking to the social media platform to share his doctor-approved sleep hack, Dr Raj told his followers: "When I first started as a doctor, I struggled with insomnia."

He went on to explain he'd come across a sleep hack that he instantly dismissed, believing it wouldn't work. But, when he gave it a go he realised it did. "Basically, you tell yourself. 'I'm not going to sleep' and you stay awake. You don't read a book and you don't go on your phone, no TV, nothing. You just lie in bed [with your] eyes open."

Dr Raj continued: "You're forcing yourself to stay awake, tell yourself, 'don't go to sleep'. In many cases, you will feel tired and fall asleep. That worked for me."

"By the way," he added in the comments section, "this is called 'paradoxical intention'. If I tell you NOT to think about a polar bear... guess what you think of first? Works the same way!" So, it seems the key to falling asleep is a little trickery of the mind, with one TikToker agreeing in the comments by saying: "Reverse psychology."

Since suffering with insomnia – which the NHS describes as when you "regularly have problems sleeping" – Dr Raj has clearly mastered the art of a good night's sleep, as several of his must-know sleep hacks have gone viral on TikTok, including this clip in which he revealed: "The single most important thing you can do to sleep better."

Happy sleeping!

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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