No matter what’s keeping you up, sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows can help you get the best kip of your life
Sleep: what’s the big deal? ‘My 96-year-old grandma has spent 32 years of her life or lazy, it’s just that humans need to spend a third of their lives sleeping.’ It also perks up our immune system and regulates the hormones that control appetite and boost our mood, helping us combat stress, anxiety and depression.
Dr. Guy Meadows – Sleep, the brain and the belly (UK) Photo Gallery
PROBLEM: WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
You often wake up around 3am, mind racing and panic setting in as you count down the hours left until you have to get up. SORT IT: Don’t struggle with sleeplessness. Guy suggests trying acceptance and commitment therapy (also known as ACT; see therapist-directory.co.za for a list of therapists in your area), which works for those of you who can’t get to sleep and those who wake up in the middle of the night.
It’s all about accepting and acknowledging the negative thoughts that go through your mind when you can’t sleep, instead of battling with them and trying to block them, which can be exhausting. ‘Say, “I notice my mind telling me that I’m not going to cope if I don’t get to sleep now.” Then let that thought go and practise a mindful activity, such as noticing the feel of the duvet on your feet, or the rise and fall of your breath,’ explains Guy. Many sleep experts may advise getting out of bed if you can’t sleep, but Guy believes this won’t solve the problem, and you should stay in bed. ‘You need to learn how to be OK with being awake and feeling anxious. Avoiding the problem won’t resolve it,’ he says.
source: Styles Star
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