Sleep expert explains the worst thing you can do when waking at night

While some people may be able to drift off as soon as their head hits the pillow and enjoy a good night’s sleep, others may find themselves lying in bed struggling for shut-eye.

Struggling to sleep during the night can be horrible, especially if it begins to impact your quality of life, reports The Mirror. In fact, it is thought one in three Brits regularly suffer from insomnia.

For some people, this could be an occasional episode that comes and goes, but others find it more serious. They can have struggle with sleep for months on end. 

There are however plenty of things you can do if you struggle with sleep. These range from watching what you eat or drink before bed to having a hot bath. 

Even then, some might find themselves waking up at night. This can be due to things like stress, anxiety, or simply because the room temperature doesn’t feel right.

If you do find yourself waking up, there are several ways you can try to get back to sleep. But one health expert has said there is one thing you should absolutely avoid – checking your phone.

Dr Biquan Luo, CEO of LumosTech, told New York Post: “Checking the time can increase stress and make it harder to sleep. Additionally, if you check the time on your phone, the contents of the phone may be too stimulating, which further prevents you from relaxing and falling asleep.”

The so-called “blue light” coming from your screen can disrupt our natural sleep cycles, which is why you should put these away before bedtime. Instead, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you just first try to stay in bed to see if you can fall asleep again – but if not, you should get out and go somewhere else. 

The sleep expert added: “When you wake up in the middle of the night, it’s best to stay in bed at first, try to relax, and see if you can fall asleep again.

“If you can’t fall back asleep after 10 or 15 minutes, it’s time to get out of bed. Try going to a quiet and comfortable place at home, like the couch, and engage in a quiet, low-stimulation activity, such as reading a book or doing a calming activity, until you feel sleepy again – then return to bed.”

According to the NHS, you should see a GP if you struggle with sleep and have changed your sleeping habits, but it hasn’t worked, you’ve had trouble sleeping for months, and it affects your daily life.

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