Sleep is so important, and such a natural function that it is a wonder why so many people struggle to get enough. I have, on many many occasions, woken in the morning and felt like I haven't slept at all. After lots of reading about it I discovered a technique which I believe works for me.
An average adult requires anything between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you are going to bed early, because you are exhausted from the day, the chances are by 4am you will begin to wake up naturally (that is going to bed at 10pm and getting your 7 hours). This was happening to me, so I tried going to bed earlier (before my teenager, which let's be honest isn't difficult, but still!). I was then waking at 3am! Great! This meant that I laid awake, trying to get back to sleep. The outcome was either that I did not manage to get back to sleep at all - and was shattered by 6.30am when I needed to get up, or I would fall asleep just before the alarm went off! Either way, not great.
I decided to use a technique that I had read about, firstly work out approximately when you appear to naturally wake up and count the amount of hours between falling asleep and waking. So if you go to sleep at 10pm but wake every day at 5am you may only need 7 hours sleep.
Now decide when you need to get up and count backwards 7 hours in this case and make that your bedtime. If you sleep right through to your correct getting up time, then fantastic - but if you are early or later (I recommend trialing this when you do not have to get up for work!) you adjust your bedtime accordingly.
I worked out my bedtime should be 11.30pm , I consider that extremely late especially during the week (to be honest I never have a problem getting to sleep!), but I persevered with it and it worked! I could not believe it!
For clarity, bedtime is actually going to sleep - not sitting in bed reading, playing on your mobile phone or watching television. Try and refrain from these activities up to an hour before you head up to bed, then when you get into bed lay down to sleep straight away. This is a great routine to establish because, along with a healthy diet and some daily exercise, being able to switch off is vital to a good night's sleep.
There could be numerous other reasons why you are waking in the middle of the night - and I will touch upon them in later blogs - but this worked for me and if you are struggling it could work for you too.
I am a busy mum of two teenage boys, and between them and work I am forever running around. I have always been interested in fitness, and I make sure that exercise features regularly in my life. However many of my friends are not into fitness like me, yet want to be healthy. I want to help people make healthy lifestyle choices which will impact on their fitness, without necessarily feeling the need to throw themselves full force into exercise.