What you can do now to improve sleep later
Not sleeping is the worst, and there can be plenty of reasons why you can’t drift off, including sleep disorders (besides sleep apnoea). If you’ve already tried doing some stretches before bed to help sleep better, limiting your caffeine, and sipping on chamomile tea to no avail, you might want to work on getting better slumber from the moment you wake up.
Try some reverse psychology
If you want to fall asleep faster, think about staying awake. “It sounds counter-intuitive, but for those who find it difficult to sleep because they keep worrying about not falling asleep, do the opposite,” says Dr Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Sleep Medicine program. Most of the time falling asleep is an involuntary process that takes virtually no effort on our part but if we’re anxious, we do things like looking at the clock and calculating how little sleep we’re going to get, which then causes sleep performance anxiety. “Instead of worrying about falling asleep, think about staying awake instead. This often lessens anxiety and gives your mind a chance to relax enough to fall asleep. It’s a technique known as paradoxical intent, a cognitive behavioural therapy technique used to lessen the anxiety around falling asleep.
Stop snacking in bed
Noshing in bed is not great for getting for sleeping. “Eating in the bedroom, especially right before bedtime, can be very disruptive to sleep,” says physician, Dr Robert I. Danoff. Salt-filled snacks could make you thirsty, drinking too much fluid prior to bedtime may cause extra trips to the bathroom, and any caffeine within four hours of sleep may keep you awake or cause disrupted sleep. Caffeine can also make you feel anxious and jittery.