Insomniacs Should Get Out Of Bed To Sleep Better

Can’t sleep? Maybe you should get out of bed say scientists. Insomniacs were told to keep a diary of the amount of time that they spent in bed in a study just published by the British Medical Journal.
After reviewing the diaries of those in the Auckland University study researchers told participants to change their habits and reduce the time that they spent in bed each night by the hours they laid awake on average. Most of those in the study slept on average of five hours but spent eight to nine hours in bed. reports:

“If they were only sleeping for five to six hours, they were only allowed to stay in bed for a maximum of six hours. It is counter-intuitive people with sleep problems often spend longer in bed and go to bed early hoping to get to sleep.

“But if the brain is not ready to sleep, it won’t sleep. This is about retraining the brain to sleep again.

“A lot of insomnia patients don’t feel sleepy at 9, 10 or 11pm like most people. One way to make them sleepier is to delay bedtime. But people don’t think like that; they think they should go bed earlier.”

After a couple of weeks the patients of being in bed less they found that they were sleeping better.

Tony Fernando, leader of the study is quoted by the Times of India:

“It means the millions we spend on drugs, herbal medicines and special mattresses looking for an answer can actually be solved by something very simple,” The Sunday Star Times quoted him, as saying.

The study had 40 participants who were followed for two years. They targeted those insomniacs that had no obvious cause (depression, anxiety or other sleep disorders)for not being able to get a good night’s rest.

After a four-week “sleep rescheduling protocol” between 80 to 90 percent of the patients had improved sleep patterns.

A larger study funded by the Health Research Council has started with a broader range of participants.


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