Highlights

  • More than 17% of adults worldwide struggle with sleep apnea
  • California sleep expert has helpful tips like changing up your habits, taking supplements like melatonin, and more
  • Circadian rhythm key to sleep quality and duration

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What to do when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep? Try these quick tips

Do you also wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep? A sleep expert from California might have the solution for you.

What to do when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep? Try these quick tips

Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep? You are not alone. According to a 2020 census from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 17% of adults experience some form of sleep apnea or insomnia.

Now, Dr. Biquan Luo, a sleep expert from San Francisco, California, and CEO of smart sleep mask company LumosTech, might have some tips to help remedy this.

When you’ve just woken up

According to Dr. Luo, it is best to stay in bed at first, try to relax, and see if you can fall asleep again. Easier said than done, right? She also suggests well-documented techniques like breathing exercises white noise machines and progressive relaxation.

Don’t make these mistakes!

If your sleep is interrupted prematurely, you might reach for your phone almost instinctively. Resist the urge! It can be very detrimental to your sleep. Don’t look at the clock or check the time either. “Checking the time can increase stress and make it harder to sleep”, notes Dr. Luo.

The key to it all: your internal clock

Your internal sleep clock, known medically as your Circadian rhythm, is governed by a buildup of “sleep pressure” early in the night - basically your body telling you it is time to hit the hay - and later in the night, Circadian signaling to help maintain sleep. In an ideal scenario, these two factors work in concert to ensure you stay asleep. “But if sleep pressure fades before the Circadian signal fully kicks in, it might lead to waking up at night”, says Dr. Luo.

To prevent this dysregulation, there are ways to adjust your Circadian rhythm. According to the Sleep Foundation, these include things like waking up at the same time each day, exposing yourself to bright light at fixed intervals of time, changing your meal schedule, taking melatonin supplements, working out at different times of the day, and consuming moderate amounts of caffeine in the morning (so swap in that Americano or energy drink for a Frappuccino or chai!)

Also watch: Discover how this fruit aids better sleep and relaxation


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