Sleep is interesting in that it is a physiological process, which is strongly influenced by habit. When we work to have positive sleep associations with our bedroom, we can sleep better.
Remember Pavlov’s dogs? Whenever Pavlov fed the dogs, he would ring a bell. Eventually just ringing the bell would cause the dogs to start salivating, because they associated the bell with food.
People can also develop these type of associations. For instance, hard not to think about food when you’re standing in the kitchen. What associations have you developed about your bedroom?
Sometimes, when people spend a lot of time awake in their bed or bedroom, they start to associate it with being awake. This can feed into difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
To create a positive association of your bedroom as someplace to sleep, avoid being awake either in bed or in the bedroom.
– Choose to unwind before bed in another room.
– Don’t have a TV or computer in the bedroom, as those are waking activities.
– If you are awake more than 30 minutes at the beginning of the night, or 10 minutes in the middle of the night, get up and do something boring until you are sleepy enough to return to bed.
To learn more about Naturopathic Sleep Medicine go to www.naturalsleepmedicine.net.