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Why am I awake?!

The short answer is… because my husband’s alarm went off and he didn’t wake up to shut it off before it woke me up.

I looked at the clock and turned over, knowing I didn’t have to get up for another hour.

Why am I awake? The real answer to my question is that my brain kicked in.

Yup, you know the feeling. Lying in bed with every intention of going to sleep when those pesky thoughts of the day ahead start running through your brain. Try as you might, they won’t stop and you can’t get to sleep.

Often times, people’s brain’s kick in just when they are starting to go to sleep, or, even worse, in the middle of the night. I thought I’d give you a few tips for getting back to sleep when that happens to you…

• Concentrate of your breathing. Literally say to yourself, “In”, “Out”, as you breathe each direction. It gives your mind something to think about and is so boring you will eventually drift off.
• I read that keeping your hands and feet warm (not hot) will help you sleep. The article suggested putting on a pair of socks. I know, if I wake up cold, and put on socks, I go right back to sleep. Might be worth a try!
• If you’ve been trying to sleep for 30 minutes with no success – get up. Lying in bed thinking about the fact you are not falling asleep doesn’t help matters.
• Some studies say that a small amount of carbs can help you sleep. On those rare occasions that I struggle getting to sleep, I get up, get a ½ a slice of bread (plain – nothing on it), and eat that while reading for 30mins or so. It seems to “reset” my system and I can usually drift right off, upon returning to bed.
Luckily for me, it was almost time to get up anyway. So, I gave up on the indulgent idea of going back to sleep, got up, grabbed some coffee, and embraced the day. I hope you are able to embrace your day, today, as well.

*Pam Horton is a certified Stress Management coach in the Raleigh area.*

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