Due to the coincidence of a few factors recently, I’ve been getting the chance to practice some sleep management tactics, which I thought might be worth sharing. Now, getting off the sleep isn’t the issue here, it’s more periods of waking in the night when there’s a good chunk of time still to go before the alarm is going to go off and it’s time to be awake properly!
So, during the periods of being awake, here’s what’s been helping me maximise the chances of getting back off to sleep. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has got any tactics to add to the mix!
Ignorance is bliss
As much as possible, when I’m waking up, I don’t check what the time is. I’ve found knowing the time is usually more hindrance than help. To help with this, clocks are turned away and not easy to see even if I do open my eyes. I’ve found not knowing the time helps me reduce frustration and feel a bit more relaxed about being awake. If I know the time, my brain usually starts doing calculations about how much sleep I’m likely to miss and how quickly I need to get back to sleep in order to make it a good sleep! Not helpful thoughts, I’ve found.
Two sleeps are better than one
I’ve found that making a point of getting out of bed, even if I don’t feel like I need to, and then getting back in works better than staying in bed hoping to re-find the sleep state that’s gone missing! So, a quick trip to the toilet usually works well, as I enjoy the feeling of getting back into a warm bed and beginning a second bout of sleep. As I said earlier, I’m not struggling to get off to sleep, so feeling like I’m starting another bout of sleep seems to help a lot.
Where the mind goes, the body usually follows
Finally, I’m taking advice that I’ve given for years – when awake, do everything possible to not worry about the fact you’re awake and while you are awake, just focus on relaxing as much as possible. I find relaxed breathing works really well and ensuring that I’m laying in my favoured sleep position helps. Focusing on warmth and heaviness with a very controlled, deep breathing rhythm is something my mind associates with sleep, so I’m just stacking the odds in my favour of dropping of to sleep – and that’s a good focus for me, as well as wondering how much more sleep I can eek out, rather than obsessing about the sleep I might be missing out on!
So, those are my 3 things that are a big help to minimising the impact of disturbed sleep at the moment. No rocket science, but a simple recipe that I stick to with confidence and discipline.
If anyone’s got any other tips they use with similar discipline and confidence, then please do share with the TPR community!
If you want a little sleep inspiration from TPR, then why not check out this infographic?