Yes, I did say place.
For those of us that wake at 4 a.m. it IS the loneliest place, EVER, isn’t it?
This time of day is so popular in fact, that over the 17 years I have been working, I have lost count of the number of times I have suggested that if everyone who wakes at that time open their curtains, turn on their lights and just notices how many other windows are ablaze, it would rival Blackpool Illuminations.
Well, maybe not that bright but you get my drift.
You are not alone.
Because you KNOW what happens next………..
You look at the clock, you already know what time it is, but you look anyway.
You then do a simple sum – the number of hours you could possibly have left to sleep, that’s if you go to sleep RIGHT NOW. Which you just know is impossible.
You know the importance of sleep, how it affects your ability to concentrate, how long-term sleep deprivation affects your immune system, and most of all it just makes you feel crap!
You are not one of those people who can thrive on 4 hours a night (Lady Margaret Thatcher, up to you if you think she thrived!).
Why do we wake up at 4 a.m.?
Waking at 4 a.m. is a result of a body that has too much stress hormone – the ones we produce to keep us safe.
The ones that keep you alert, get you ready to deal with a threat, cascade through your body, changing how it functions.
Read more about the stress response in my upcoming blogs, what it does to us and how we can return to “factory settings” as I like to call it.
Feeling anxious, stressed and worrying all day is exhausting!
So, you fall asleep ok because your body just can’t stay awake any longer.
But that level of stress chemical won’t allow you to stay asleep for long.
Its job, after all, is to keep you alert, safe and to basically run your body.
So given this, let’s find out about how to get to sleep.
The Best Sleeping Tip EVER!
So what to do?
The reason this method works is because it is simple and stops the mind in its tracks before it can go galloping off thinking about stuff that hasn’t happened yet or things that you can do nothing about at 4 a.m.
So, if you wake, DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOCK.
Keep your eyes closed and start at letter A.
Think of a girl’s name beginning with A- Annabel.
Carry on till you get to Z.
If you are still awake start again with boys’ names.
If you are still awake start again and do alternate girls and boys.
Only yesterday I shared this tip with a lady who hadn’t slept for days; she had tried going downstairs watching TV, making hot drinks etc.
She texted me this morning to say she got to E and next thing she knew it was morning!
The next time you can’t fall asleep or wake in the middle of the night, try this tip. Let me know how it works for you.
Drop me a line or ask me questions in the comments section below.
If anxiety is a part of your life and sleep story, download my audio which will teach you another effective antidote to calm your busy 0 to 90 mile an hour brain. Click here to get it now.
In my work supporting women whose experience of conception pregnancy and birth just isn’t sunshine and light, sleep is often a BIG problem, for many different reasons.