August 19, 2017

Why you struggle to fall asleep at night

Why you struggle to fall asleep at night

You’ve been struggling to keep your eyes open all day, staving off yawns during your morning meetings, doing everything you can to keep from dozing off during the mid-afternoon slump, and pushing yourself to power through the end-of-day commute.

And yet, the second you lie down for a night of sweet, sweet sleep, every hint of that exhaustion you battled with all day long suddenly disappears. This problem is likely something called conditioned or learned arousal, and it’s actually really common, according to TIME. The idea: You’re doing something in bed that’s causing your brain to associate crawling under the covers with being awake instead of with sleeping.

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“If someone is a good sleeper, then each night, they probably get in bed and fall asleep,” Philip Gehrman, PhD, CBSM, a sleep-medicine specialist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, told TIME. “So, when they get into bed, it triggers this auto-response of sleepiness. “But if you spend night after night tossing and turning, not being able to fall asleep, then your body associates that with your bed instead.”

The first step to solving this all-too-common sleep problem: Determine what’s causing you to toss and turn. Have you been messing around on your phone or laptop after you crawl into bed? Are you spending too much time worrying about work after your head hits the pillow? These things could be keeping you awake when you attempt to hit the hay — and, in turn, can cause a relentless cycle of sleepless nights. Read more 

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