Can't Sleep? When to Get Out of Bed

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Low-Key Activities, Low Lights

Resist the urge to get stuff done, even though you're wide awake. This is one time when it's better to be inefficient.

Keep your TV, computer, and phone off, and leave work alone. Your to-do list, online banking account, and Facebook can wait.

"Try to avoid [doing] anything productive," Rosenberg says. "If you feel good about getting something done, you'll reinforce the habit of waking early." Plus, you're going to be much sharper after you get some sleep, so chances are you'll handle those chores better then.

There's another reason to stay powered down. Anything with a screen lights up. The light from that screen could trick your brain into thinking it's daytime and that you need to be awake, Rosenberg says.

Troubleshoot Your Sleep Habits

Everyone has a bad night from time to time. Working on your sleep habits can help.

That includes going to bed at a regular time, making your last hour of the day relaxing, keeping your bedroom restful and devoted to sleep, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

Try that for a couple of weeks, and your sleep should get better. If not, talk to your doctor to check on any medical reasons for your insomnia, get more sleep advice, and see if you should see a sleep specialist.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on August 27, 2012

Sources

SOURCES:

National Sleep Foundation: "Insomnia."

American Sleep Association: "Insomnia."

Roth, T. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Aug. 15, 2007.

Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, medical director, Stanford Sleep Medicine Center.

Kloss, J.  Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress.

Cleveland Clinic: "Menopause and Insomnia."

Cleve Kushida, medical director, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine.

Russell Rosenberg, MD, chairman of the board, National Sleep Foundation.

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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