Dear Therapist: I find it hard to get out of bed

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

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Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 11:38 PM

I have been trying to correct my sleep schedule for many years but am unable to rectify it. Even when I make amends, I fall back into the cycle of sleeping late. I have always wanted to be someone who wakes up before sunrise but that’s when I go to bed. — Akshay B.

Dear Akshay, I am not sure if your concern is difficulty with sleep cycle, quality of sleep or your measurement of correct sleep behaviour. It would help if you explored the stated factors as it is quite possible that the expectations you have may have become unrealistic. It’s important to recognise why you wish to be the person who wakes up before sunrise. Everyone has different body rhythms, some function best late at night, while others feel better in the mornings. If your temperament does not make it possible for you to wake up as per your expectations, perhaps it’s time to give it up or reduce them to a more feasible one. Sometimes, accepting ourselves for who we are does much to decrease distress. However, if the issue is that you are struggling to go to bed or fall asleep due to unhealthy sleep habits — scrolling online, pending work, stress or inconsistent sleep schedule, then these are definitely things that you work on. The best sleep hygiene practices are to avoid anything arousing or exciting (caffeine, online content, arguments, books, etc) few hours before bed. Building a bedtime ritual where you help the body to wind down can help people prepare for sleep better. I suggest that you identify barriers for a better sleep regime which can help you develop solutions more holistically.

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