WAKING up before you are ready is one of life’s big annoyances, especially if you’re left tossing and turning in the early hours.
But we've got plenty of tips to send you back to sleep if you're waking up ahead of time.
Avoid toilet breaks
Need the loo? Dr Michael Breus told Business Insider that you should stay exactly where you are.
Even though you may be tempted to empty your bladder, the trick is to stay snug in your bed.
If you leave the warmth, your heart has to pump more blood around the body.
A low resting heart rate is needed to fall asleep, which is harder to achieve if you are moving around.
It is also tempting to roll over and check the time when you wake up, but this isn't always the best idea.
The anticipation of the alarm going off can ruin many people's sleeps.
Dr Michael said to avoid checking your phone at all costs, as the anxiety of watching the clock can keep you awake longer.
Ditch the booze
A glass or two of wine, or a sip or two of brandy, for many is a pre-bed ritual.
But despite what you might think, experts say it actually doesn't improve our sleep.
That's because alcohol blocks tryptophan – an amino acid that helps you sleep – from getting to the brain.
Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey, says: "Alcohol has a weird effect in that it makes it easier to fall asleep, but it makes it harder to stay asleep and it affects the quality of our sleep."
Shut pets away
We're all guilty of letting our cats or dogs cuddle up to us in bed at the end of the day.
However, they can rob us of those vital zzzzs – not just because they fidget about, but also because of fur shedding.
On top of this, sleeping with a furry friend can also aggravate allergies or asthma in those susceptible to it.
You might feel like having a warm, cosy house is one of the only comforts in the colder months – but this can actually disrupt sleep.
This is because central heating systems dry out the mucous membranes, making you more thirsty during the night.
Dr Neil Stanley, ex-chairman of the British Sleep Society, says the optimum temperature for a good night is 18C or lower.
We need to lose around 1C of our internal body temperature, which sits at around 37C – to drift off.
If you're in a room that's too warm, your body can't dump that excess heat – and that means that your sleep will be disturbed.
Turn the heating off in your bedroom and instead use duvets, blankets and breathable bed linen to help regulate your body temperature.
Quieten your mind
To help remedy this, The National Sleep Foundation recommends trying meditation.
They say: "Learning to quiet your mind can be a helpful skill, both for navigating stressful daytime periods, and for falling asleep at night.
"If you’ve never tried it, start with as little as a couple minutes of sitting quietly and focusing on your inhale and exhale.
"You can also explore apps that will help guide you."
They also recommend taking on more exercise as regular exercisers tend to fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO I NEED FOR MY AGE?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours (previously 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours 12-15 hours (previously 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened one hour 11-14 hours (previously 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep ranged widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
Want more sleep advice? CBT could be the key to insomniacs getting to sleep faster and snoozing for longer.
And these are the five ways to burn fat while you sleep according to experts.
Plus this is the exact time your kids should be going to bed according to their age.
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