Chrissa Hardy
August 04, 2016 10:34 am
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When you’re exhausted AF, the only thing that sounds enticing is getting in bed and sleeping as long as your body will let you. However, staying in bed too long might hinder your ability to catch all the zzz’s. A new study from Penn Medicine shows that less time in bed might actually help you get a better night’s sleep. So instead of tossing and turning, or scrolling your way through your Instagram feed, it might actually make more sense to get out from under the covers for a bit. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.

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To sleep well, you gotta get up.

The results of the study were presented at SLEEP 2016, which is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. The researchers found that “what may prevent 70-80% of individuals with new onset insomnia (acute insomnia) from developing chronic insomnia is a natural tendency to self-restrict time in bed.” So if you find yourself lying in bed trying to get to sleep, or get back to sleep, the best thing to do is just get up.

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Only sleep at night.

Michael Perlis, PhD, Associate Professor in Psychiatry and director of the Penn Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, stated that people with insomnia try to combat their sleep issues by “extending their sleep opportunity.” He went on to say, “They go to bed early, get out of bed late, and they nap. While this seems a reasonable thing to do, and may well be in the short term, the problem in the longer term is it creates a mismatch between the individual’s current sleep ability and their current sleep opportunity; this fuels insomnia.”

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So while we all wish naptime was a scheduled break for adults – like it is for kids – it might not be the best idea after all. Resist the urge to snooze when you can’t sleep, and then hit the sack only when your eyes are ready to close.

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