It’s 3am, your mind is racing at a million miles and hour and you’re stressing that tomorrow you’re going to be exhausted because you can’t get back to sleep.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
As a consequence of overstimulation from blue light emitting devices, over-caffeination and excessive demands, many of us are finding that 3am wake up far too common. Biochemically, this indicates an excessive amount of (stress hormone) cortisol in your body – as noted by researchers published in Sleep Science.
Fortunately, there is a solution. And as a guest writer for Lorna Jane and a Sleep Specialist, it’s a pleasure to bring you my top tips.
Do not turn on (blue light) lights!
With academic studies noting ceiling lights – not just phones and tvs – emit stimulating blue light; its critical to minimise light usage in the evening. This will both enable you to return to sleep faster and down the track, reduce the likelihood you will wake up at all. Instead of turning a blue light on, I advise you have a plug in red light (aka night light) for any nocturnal wakings.
Practice deep breathing.
Relaxing the mind and body simultaneously, clinical trials pinpoint it’s capacity to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which allows you to feel more calm – the key driver for getting back to sleep.
Meditate or listen to tranquil music.
Slowing your brainwaves down, enables you to return to sleep easier because it’s highly active brainwaves which keep you awake. Researchers have found meditation has the capacity to help do this. And evidence published in the Journal of Music Therapy found tranquil music has a similar effect.
Write (on paper, not in your phone!) statements to ease anxiety.
Often waking due to stresses about the day passed or the day ahead? Having a set of statements which help make you feel calm – and writing them out – is helpful. Something along the lines of ‘I control what I can, and accept what I cant’, ‘everything always works out in the end’ and ‘everything unfolds at the perfect time’ can be helpful to recall. When you write them, hold the thought in your mind and breathe deeply – it will cement it within your mind. As a result, you’re more likely to return to sleep.
Remember that having ongoing problems with sleep is a signal that something is not right. And there is a solution – such as seeking advice from experts such as myself. I provide daily sleep tips in my stories so if you haven’t already, connect with me on instagram. Alternatively, feel free to email me regarding my private consultations (both via phone and face to face).
Here’s to your best sleep – starting tonight.
Olivia is ‘The Sleep Specialist’ (Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Certificate Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Certificate 3+4 Fitness). As a speaker and media expert, Olivia’s clients include Sealy Posturepedic, Ikea, Crown Hotels and her writing appears on The Urban List, Popsugar and Daily Mail.