Counting sheep isn’t working. Reflecting on sleep difficulties.

I would like to reflect today on a very annoying, and very common, sleeping problem called night time waking. Night time waking is a form of insomnia impacting roughly 15% of Canadians. There are three types of insomnia, trouble falling asleep, waking during the night, and waking in the morning wide awake. You can have a combination of any of these, and they all share one feature- being distressful. You sit in bed starring at the clock, knowing and also wanting to sleep, but being unable to. It might be because your body is sore, your mind is racing, you’re worried about something happening the next day- but all you know is falling asleep it tough. Then you do, sleep that is, for what seems like ten minutes. When you wake up you stare at the clock and it takes forever to fall asleep again. You might even wake up early in the morning and feel wide awake, despite barely having any sleep, and cannot get back to bed even though you know halfway during the day you will be restless.

Here are some sleep hygiene ideas (in no relevant order) to try to change your sleeping problems…

1. Do you nap during the day? If so, perhaps try meditating for 15 minutes instead as napping can alter your sleep schedule and make it harder at night to fall asleep.

2. You do need natural light- if your sleep schedule gets weird during winter you might be impacted by the change of seasons, blue light therapy can sometimes help alter your sleep cycle (Circadian rhythms). Continue reading “Counting sheep isn’t working. Reflecting on sleep difficulties.”