Many of us experience sleeping difficulties at some point in our lives, whether due to anxiety or other medical disorders.
An all-too-common solution is to resort to prescription or over-the-counter medications, which can make insomnia worse if discontinued.
In addition, many of the medications prescribed to help you fall asleep are accompanied by various side effects.
According to data collected by the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, 10-15% of the adult population suffers from chronic insomnia, and more than one 35% suffer from it occasionally.
With these facts in mind, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that even sleep experts have trouble sleeping. And so it is.
What do you think sleep specialists do when they can’t sleep a wink? We show you below:
1- “I get up and put on relaxing music”
“Fortunately, I rarely suffer from insomnia. But I remember once in the summer, on vacation… she had a headache caused by sinusitis that wouldn’t let me sleep.
I began to think about the problems and the situation of insomnia in which I found myself, which seemed more and more serious as time went by.
So I learned that once I realize I can’t sleep within 10 to 15 minutes of going to bed, I must get up and try to relaxusually with soft music. This is how I get rid of negative thoughts. As soon as I feel sleepy, I go to bed again.
I think that’s what you have to do, and do it as many times as necessary. Start an activity that is not stimulating, but routine and even boring. Otherwise, she enters a vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out ».
– Javier de Miguel, head of the pulmonology section at Gregorio Marañón
2- “When I can’t sleep, I meditate”
«I admit that I generally fall exhausted. But it is true that sometimes, when I have more worries, I sleep worse and wake up several times during the night.
How do I know what insomnia consists of? do not create anguishI think that the experts take away the drama of sleeping badly precisely because it is a situation that is not alien to us.
Normally I take advantage of those times to think about my things without getting out of bed. Since it doesn’t happen often, I consider it a moment for me, which I take to meditate. Yes, when I can’t sleep, I do meditation.”
– Milagros Hinojosa, head of the sleep unit at Hospital la Milagrosa.
3- “I sit in the living room and try not to think about anything”
“If I really can’t fall asleep after tossing and turning for more than 15 minutes, I get up, go to the living room, sit down or lie down, I try not to think about anything and relax. And when I get sleepy I go back to bed.
I have verified that if I start working on the computer or watch something on television that interests me, it is much more difficult for me to go back to sleep.
My most common form of insomnia is waking up at dawn and having trouble falling asleep again.
It is rare, but when it has happened I have tried to identify the cause: the room temperature was not adequate, generally due to excessive heat; or was going through a period of special stress.
– Cristina Fernández, head of the neurology service at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital.
4- “I focus on sensations like the touch of the sheets”
«Years ago I went to therapy because I had sleep problems due to stress. There I learned some techniques that have gone quite well for me. I do not get out of bed and concentrate on the external sensations of the body. That is, in the touch of the sheets in the hands that produce a pleasant sensation. but also in their own internal bodily sensations.
It is something similar to scan your body and go through it. You can even look for muscle tensions to try to relax them. It takes quite a bit of concentration, but it’s an easy trick to pull off and quite effective.”
– Hernando Pérez Díaz, member of the Spanish Society of Neurology and sleep expert at the Center for Advanced Neurology.
5- “I have ever put myself to work”
«I have good sleep hygiene, I try to go to bed relaxed, with a blank mind and I usually sleep well. So as soon as I detect that it takes me a little longer than usual to fall asleep, I understand that something is wrong, perhaps because I have consumed caffeinated drinks or after a heavy dinner.
In those cases I usually stay in bed and at least take advantage of the resteven if it takes a few turns. However, if what overwhelms me is work, have I ever gotten up and I have started to work«.
– Adela Fraile, coordinator of the Sleep Unit at HM Puerta del Sur University Hospital.
6- “If I see that nothing else is going to help, I take a medication”
«In effect, sleep specialists are like everyone else and sometimes we don’t sleep as well as we would like. As we get older, we sleep less and worsewith more fragmented sleep and some have insomnia or apnea, so many have to be treated.
In my case, for example, it’s not so common that wooden knife in the blacksmith’s house, so I usually sleep well. But the day I can’t, I get up, I do some activity that relaxes me because it is boring… And if I see that nothing else is going to work, I medicateyes, in a timely manner and recited by my doctor, who is myself… ».
– Eduard Stivill, director of the Sleep Clinic (Barcelona).
7- «I read. The electronic book allows not to disturb the couple»
«Sleep is a consequence of our daily lives and, therefore, it can affect us at times of greater stress, hot summer nights or that extra drink that seems less until we go to bed.
In those cases or I try to relax the body (mind is harder) either I start reading. I’ve been doing it since I discovered the dimly lit e-book that doesn’t bother my partner and allows me to immerse myself in pleasurable stories. So, although reading an interesting book should not be prolonged, I take the opportunity to enjoy reading. When my eyes, already tired, ask to close again, I turn it off and try to resume sleep.
– Teresa Lluch, specialist in clinical neurophysiology and sleep specialist at the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Sleep in Murcia.