Our brains learn by association, and to sleep well, you want your brain to have a strong learned association between the bed and sleep.
The sleep professional said that the longer you lie in bed worrying about not sleeping, the less likely it is you will fall asleep. Instead she recommends getting up, putting on a low light and reading a book to distract you.
Troxel also stressed the importance of turning off all devices – televisions, tablets and iPhones – at least an hour before going to bed, as the bright light and stimulating content can keep you awake hours later.
Unfortunately for those of us who like to catch up on sleep at the weekend, she encourages waking up at the same time each day to control our body clocks.
The time you wake up is the single most important factor that sets your brain’s internal biological clock, so the brain knows when to be alert and awake (during the day) and when it should be asleep (at night).
And for those who think a wee night cap can help us drop off, Troxel warns:
It might help you to fall asleep, but as your body metabolises the alcohol, it can disrupt sleep.