How to sleep the night before an early call or a big event?

Those are the nights when you crawl into bed early and beg for sleep — all too often in vain.

“Unfortunately, this has happened to me many times,” says Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “If you can’t fall asleep, don’t worry. It won’t help.’

Sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta has similar guidelines.

“My general advice is ‘don’t force it,’ because those worries about getting those zzzs will start ruminating in your head, making things worse,” said Dasgupta, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. the University of Southern California.

“The reality is that the harder we try to relax and fall asleep, the more we worry about losing precious sleep time, making the elusive ‘good night’s sleep’ harder to come by,” he said via email.

If your sleep chronotype — the time your body is naturally programmed to want to sleep — is that of a night owl (going to bed late, getting up late), those nights (and subsequent days) can be especially rough, experts say.

Here are some tried and true tips from experts on how to ease those “please let me fall asleep” worries.

1. Don’t try the impossible

First, unless you are a morning lark, try not to fall asleep at 9pm, which may be way too early for your body. clock. It only makes you worry.

Instead, “start dimming the lights at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” Zee advised, and aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime.

Fall asleep faster with mental tricks that calm your racing mind

You also want to avoid blue light, which trick your brain into “thinking it’s still daytime. This prevents the release of important hormones like melatonin, which help you sleep,” Dasgupta said.

“Blue light is emitted from electronic devices like smartphones and computers,” he said, so be sure to avoid these two hours before bed, as well as bright lights.

2. Meditation, Mindfulness and Breathing

Being stressed about sleep is “a huge barrier to getting a refreshing sleep,” Dasgupta said, and can “exacerbate existing sleep problems like insomnia.”

Fight back with mindfulness and meditation to promote calmness, he suggested. “(These practices) can help calm the mind and body, making the transition to sleep easier and hopefully pleasant,” he said.

Meditation can help calm the mind and put you to sleep.

One of the best ways to help you fall asleep is to focus on your breathing, experts say.

“One technique is the ‘4-7-8 breathing method,’ which has been shown to reduce stress,” Dasgupta said. “Take a deep breath for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds, then slowly release your breath and exhale while counting from one to eight. Repeat these steps several times, then pause and notice if you feel more relaxed.”

3. Introduce daylight

When that early alarm goes off, turn on bright lights immediately, Zee said. That tells your brain it’s daylight and helps shut down melatonin production.

Then go out in the sun as soon as possible, experts recommend.

“Natural sunlight during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy,” Dasgupta said. “This improves both daytime energy and sleep quality at night.”

4. Schedule a power nap

5 reasons why you should take a nap

You may want to schedule a 20- to 30-minute power nap early in the afternoon that day and then try your best to go to bed earlier that night as well, Zee said. Your “sleep drive” will be high, she said, because you “got too little sleep the night before.”

It will be “easier to fall asleep around 10pm to 10:30pm and get some catch-up sleep,” Zee said.

5. Avoid alcohol and sweets

Avoid consuming caffeine after lunch and avoid alcohol near bedtime, “because both can interfere with sleep,” Dasgupta said. “If you’re hungry after eating, keep the snacks small, sugar-free” and easy to digest so as not to disturb sleep.”

That phone call in the middle of the night

Warm sleeper?  Here Are 22 Products That Can Keep You Cool (Courtesy of CNN Underlined)

What if you’ve done all this and happily dozed off, but you live in California and confused relatives call you at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. ET — which would be 3 a.m. or 4 p.m. PT?

These are the rules for that scenario, according to Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky, professor of medicine and director of sleep research in the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

  • Don’t turn on the light.
  • Try to calm down, end your conversation quickly and go back to bed.
  • If you can’t fall back asleep in 10 minutes, move to another room, turn on a dim light, and try reading a boring book. (No electronic devices allowed, Polotsky said. They emit blue light that wakes you up.)
  • Do not check your email or text messages. Do not use your smartphone, computer, e-reader or TV (again because of the blue light stimulation).
  • Do not wash dishes, go outside or exercise.
  • Meditate or relax and think of something pleasant.

So relax, don’t worry and sweet dreams!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.