What Can I Do If I Can't Sleep?

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Experts believe that if you or your kids can't sleep, trying to force it will actually make things worse. If you wake up too early and think that staying in bed will force you to go back to sleep, you'd be wrong.

Trying to make yourself sleep when you can't, will lead to stress and tension making the situation even worse. On top of that, if this goes on for any length of time, it could lead to serious insomnia.

According to studies performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine getting out of bed when you can't sleep will decease 70 to 80% of acute insomnia and will not turn into chronic insomnia.

During the study, researchers observed the time in bed and the sleeping habits of 416 people over the course of a year.  Many of these participants were good sleepers before the study.  Once the study started, 20% experienced acute insomnia, having problems falling asleep or staying asleep 3 or more times in a week, expanding to 2 weeks and some cases 3 months.

45% of the participants eventually returned to good sleepers but 7% who suffered from insomnia ended up with chronic insomnia for approximately as long as 3 months.  Those who chose to restrict their time in bed were more likely to get back into good sleeping habits.  Others that chose to stay in bed were likely to suffer from insomnia and eventually become chronic.

Experts believe that if you cannot sleep, spend the time reading, writing what you have put off, or some other activity.   Chances are, you will probably go back to sleep faster and have a better night's sleep than if you chose to stay in bed and become stressed.

What You Should Not Do:

Michael Perlis, Ph.D., director and author of the study at the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program there are stumbling blocks of prolonged sleep opportunity, which can lead to your misalignment with your actual sleeping abilities.

People with insomnia usually extend their sleep opportunities by going to bed earlier, getting out of bed late, and then taking naps.   Unfortunately, this is a short-term fix because the problem over the long-term will create an imbalance between your current sleep ability and your current sleep opportunities which can lead to insomnia.

People will often overcompensate loss of sleep by changing the sleep schedule.  Choosing to stay awake instead of forcing sleep is a better strategy for the treatment of insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which has been announced by the American College f Physicians and is a better treatment.

Sticking by a better sleep and wake-up schedule will help regulate your sleep within a matter of 3 to 5 days.

Your bed should be reserved for sleep or sex, not for reading, writing or watching television. According to Michael Grander, another author & director of Sleep and Health Research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, believes you should limit your time awake in bed to half an hour a week.