Thursday, May 8, 2008

Waking up at 3:00 A.M.

Everyone hates waking up in the night and glancing over at the clock to see that it is 3:00 A. M. And I'll admit that it happens to me once in a while. Before I was about 50 it didn't seem that I ever woke up in the night (I'm sure I probably did, though). But now it happens ever so often and, like everyone else I hate it. So what's the best thing to do if it happens to you? One of the major things that stops us from sleeping is a "cluttered" mind. So if you want to get back to sleep as quickly as possible make sure that you don't start thinking about all the things you have to get done the next day. And don't start worrying about the bills, or thinking about the argument you just had with the neighbor. In fact, don't think about anything; the best way to get back to sleep quickly is to keep your mind blank. Or at least think about mindless things; the old idea of counting sheep isn't really so bad. A good alternative is to think of yourself as walking down an endless staircase. Count your steps as you go.
And of course you go to sleep best if you're completely relaxed, so try to relax. Start with your toes and feet -- relax them. Then come up to your legs -- relax them, and so on all the way up through your body.
If all of this doesn't work, get out of bed and go to another room. (But let this be a last resort; don't do it unless you absolutely have to.) And on the way don't expose yourself to any bright lights; they will tell your body that it's time to get up and that is something you don't want. Read something relaxing under a relatively dim light until you are sleepy, then return to your bed. Be careful about turning on the TV; most things on TV will tend to wake you up even more.
I hope this helps. For more on the subject see the chapter on sleep in my book "Feel great Feel Alive. My website is

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