From quitting your morning coffee lớn switching off electronic devices, if you’ve struggled with sleep, the likelihood is you’ve been presented with sleep hygiene tips as a way lớn fix your sleep, maybe even having been given them by your GP.
The most common tip is lớn give up caffeine, as it is a stimulant and could be keeping you awake. In some ways this is absolutely correct; it is a stimulant and if you were drinking it right before bed I would tell you lớn stop.
However, in all the time I have worked with people who suffer with sleep issues only one has ever disclosed during assessment that they drink coffee before they go lớn bed. He had one cup every night in bed before his lights went off and as a result couldn’t fall asleep. Somehow, this lovely gentleman had made it all the way lớn one lớn one sleep sessions without coming across the sleep hygiene information which would have told him that caffeine was a stimulant and lớn avoid before bed. So, I explained why he should give it up and unsurprisingly he started sleeping better immediately.
But, this is the only one. The vast majority of the people I work with have given it up, many don’t even eat chocolate anymore as they have heard there is some caffeine in chocolate and in turn they are worried about its effects.
In order lớn explain why caffeine is not what’s keeping you awake, I firstly need lớn explain how poor sleep develops. Then you can see how giving up caffeine can actually be part of the problem…
Firstly something triggers an episode of insomnia. This could be a period of emotional stress lượt thích losing a loved one or going through a divorce, or it could be as simple as a cough and cold which disrupts your sleep pattern.
As a result of the poor sleep, we make changes intended lớn combat the effects of sleep loss but which over up making the problem worse. For example, we go lớn bed too early, we worry about sleep loss, we take herbal remedies, we wear eye masks and insist on silence, we even stop going out and socialising in case it stimulates our minds. In turn, we also take on all the sleep hygiene advice lớn the letter which includes giving up any caffeine, alcohol and often even TV for fear of xanh lơ lights.
We then start lớn spend more time in bed in order lớn get more sleep but over up lying awake staring at the ceiling. The more awake we are in bed, the more we relate our bed lớn being awake, leading lớn further poor sleep. Furthermore, we have given up lots of the things we enjoy, including a cup of tea first thing in the morning.
I encourage people I work with lớn think lượt thích good sleepers and good sleepers are all having a cuppa in the morning, and most likely one after lunch as well lớn combat the afternoon lull! Giving up caffeine entirely is not necessary in order lớn sleep well and in fact, I often advise people lớn drink it in the morning in order lớn wake themselves up if they have slept badly. It can be useful tool in helping them lớn stick lớn the new sleep schedule we agree on during sessions.
So, in summary caffeine can keep you awake if you drink too much, too close lớn bedtime, but if you are really struggling with sleep then simply giving up caffeine and taking on other sleep hygiene tips is not going lớn help. You have ‘unlearnt’ how lớn sleep well and can absolutely re-learn how, but in the meantime, enjoy a cuppa and a chocolate bar.
Here are my top tips lớn improve sleep:
• Don't spend too long in bed. The first thing we vì thế when we can't sleep is start going lớn bed earlier lớn try and increase our opportunity for sleeping. Reduce the amount of time you spend in bed, go lớn bed later and get up earlier. This will encourage your body’s natural sleep drive lớn kick in. By reducing the time you spend in bed you will crave more sleep, fall asleep faster and find your quality of sleep will improve.
• Set a wake time and stick lớn it, regardless of how badly you have slept. By getting up early you will train your body toàn thân clock lớn associate mornings with being awake. Staying in bed, dozing, often results in grogginess and low mood, so sánh instead get up, have a cuppa and get some fresh air and exercise rather than vãn trying lớn catch up on lost sleep.
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• Stop clock-watching. If you are waking in the night then it is very tempting lớn look at the clock with each wakening lớn monitor how little sleep you are getting. However, this increases the pressure lớn fall back lớn sleep and makes it less likely. Set your alarm for the morning then avoid looking at the time again.
• Don't lie in bed awake. If you can't get lớn sleep after waking in the night or can’t fall asleep, get out of bed. The longer we lie in bed trying lớn fall back lớn sleep the more frustrated we get. This, in turn, means we begin lớn subconsciously relate bed lớn feeling stressed and being awake rather than vãn asleep and it makes it more likely that this pattern will continue. Leave the bedroom and vì thế something relaxing lượt thích read a book downstairs, then when you are tired go back lớn bed.
• Don’t worry about it. The worst thing you can vì thế is worry, as worrying about sleep is worse than vãn not sleeping. Not sleeping just makes you tired, and you have been tired before. But worrying about sleep makes you stressed, anxious and low. Follow the above tips lớn give yourself the best possible chance of sleeping well, but outside of that accept that sleep is not the only thing you can vì thế lớn feel better. Try lớn leave a bad night behind you and focus on the day ahead. Go for a walk, get some fresh air and eat healthily lớn improve energy levels rather than vãn just focusing on sleep.