Insomnia — that terrible feeling of lying awake in bed hoping sweet sleep will come.
Many experts recommend getting out of bed if you remain awake for more than 20 minutes. Shelley Hershner, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Center in Ann Arbor, agrees. In an article on Today.com, she explains that continuing to stay in bed brings on “sleep pressure.” People grow frustrated, which leads to the production of stress hormones, increased heart rate and anxiety, she says.
But what should you do when the sleep pressure mounts?
Hershner recommends a “sleep stimulus.” Leave the bedroom and go to another quiet, dark part of the house, such as a guest bedroom or sofa. Play white noise or try meditation to relax, she says. Chances are, the change in environment will be enough to calm the anxiety.
“These behavioral techniques can be very effective, and often, they’re better than trying medications,” Hershner says.