Now that the lazy days of summer are over and the busy times of fall and winter are slowly creeping up on us, things seem to get a little more hectic with work and life in general. If you are one of those people that lies in bed for hours but still can't fall asleep, Ralph Downey, chief of sleep medicine at the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, offers this method for ending the vicious cycle:
The method is simple: If you lie in bed for about 20 minutes, but haven't fallen asleep yet, get out of bed. Create a 'safe room.' Your safe room should be a comfortable haven. It should have dim lighting and not have any distractions like a computer, Internet or TV. You give your brain a time-out from the tension of trying to relax into sleep. Once about 20 minutes has passed, go back to bed and try to fall back asleep. Repeat as necessary. I don't recommend more than two to three times per night, because it becomes exhausting.
Nothing is worse than lying awake in bed all night, so try it out and see how it works for you.