There is nothing wrong with waking up at night, one or more times: the cycles of the brain are involved, and a bladder that is less resistant than before can also cause some of us to break down. get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The problem is, it’s not always easy to fall back to sleep after those few seconds or minutes of waking up.
According to Dr. Kannan Ramar, a sleep specialist and former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), if you’ve ever had trouble falling back to sleep at least three times in the past three months, then you suffer from a form of chronic insomnia. Stress and anxiety are the two main causes of insomnia. And of course, being afraid of not falling asleep again quickly only contributes to the rise in adrenaline levels, which does not help.
After 25 minutes awake, specialists recommend getting out of bed to do an activity that can calm your mind. Stretching, breathing exercises, meditation: you can focus on your body, or indulge in a quiet hobby such as knitting or reading (in the dark, the New York Times article suggests).
The use of the smartphone is of course prohibited, in particular because of the production of blue light. This stops the production of melatonin, preventing us from staying in a drowsy state. Apps like Calm and Headspace, which are supposed to help you find calm and therefore sleep, are nevertheless recommended.
No alcohol, no coffee, no liquid
The first of the advice given by the experts concerns alcohol consumption. This acts as a sedative, causing people to fall asleep more quickly, but its effects wear off overnight, often causing unwanted awakenings. Caffeine is also not recommended after 2 p.m., because it stagnates for a long time in the body. Twelve hours after drinking a cup of coffee, a quarter of the corresponding caffeine will still be present in your body.
Naps should be neither too late nor too long (no more than half an hour). Ideally, you should also try to stabilize your bedtime and waking hours. And with a capricious bladder, avoiding drinking for two to four hours before bedtime can also help keep you from being woken up by the urge to go to the bathroom.
If none of these common sense measures seem to work, it may be a good idea to see a sleep specialist, who can assess whether you have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, which requires medical treatment. Psychological work may also be necessary in the event that chronic insomnia is caused by peaks of anxiety and stress.