If you’re not asleep after ten minutes, get out of bed

by Martin Reed on 18 October 2012 in insomnia cures

One of the best pieces of insomnia advice we share on this blog is this: If you can't sleep, get out of bed.

If you lie in bed and concentrate on trying to fall asleep, you're unlikely to be successful.

It's all too easy to lie in bed worrying about the fact you're still awake. You then put pressure on yourself to fall asleep. This makes sleep less likely.

Instead, if you can't sleep, you should get out of bed (ideally, you should leave the bedroom altogether) and do something sedentary and relaxing. Think reading - but only if it's a paper book. You want to avoid electronics and anything productive.

The big question is how long should you lie in bed before calling it quits?

Most of the time, we recommended 30 minutes - but we recently came across advice that suggests if you haven't fallen asleep after just 10 minutes, you should get out of bed.

This advice comes from Russell Rosenberg - the chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation.

Don't use this advice as an excuse to lie in bed watching the clock (in fact, get the alarm clock out of your bedroom completely, or turn it away so you can't read the time). Instead, use common sense.

If you feel 10 minutes has elapsed and you're still awake, that's your cue to get out of bed and try again later.

Remember - the more you try to force yourself to fall asleep, the less likely you are to fall asleep.

Source: WebMD

Improve your sleep without sleeping pills with my free sleep training. As always, there's more information and advice in our insomnia support group

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

brayan October 29, 2012 at 4:32 am

Yup, that seems to be my problem I notice also, when I make an effort or put pressure on myself to sleep, I won’t get any at all, this happens usually during the work week, because on my day off the pressure to get sleep isn’t there and I’m able to fall asleep much more easier than I am the days I do work, but not always, there’s some off days where I’m still unable to sleep, I’ve tried the whole, get out of bed in 15mins if u can’t sleep, but it just seems to keep me awake haha, I usually have to drive myself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion before I’m able to just fall asleep without any problems, which usually includes being up for 2 or 3, this is a regular occurence for me


Martin Reed October 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Most insomnia sufferers can’t sleep because they put too much pressure on themselves to fall asleep – so your experience isn’t unusual. Have you tried our free sleep training? It will address many of the most common issues that affect sleep. You should see a real improvement if you enroll and follow the advice it contains.


Chinyemike Torti March 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I usually compensate myself for the number of night sleepless hours by having daytime siesta.


Monika March 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I have never fallen asleep after 10 minutes.


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