To Sleep Perchance to Dream
I have had a lot of discussions lately with clients about sleep habits. A surprising number of people wake during the night and report being bothered that this is happening, often reporting difficulties getting back to sleep.
The thing is, sleep is a physical activity like any other activity we undertake, and just like going for a walk, our body sometimes need s break and a rest from walking. In the case of waking up during the night, it's a break and a rest from sleeping. What seems to help a lot of people when this happens is actually getting up and having a drink, water or a cup of tea, and to engage in some light undemanding activity like reading a book or watching a an old TV episode or similar for about 30 - 45 minutes or so and then heading off back to bed for a 'Second Sleep' - which is something we all used to do up to and until the invention of street gas lighting. People used to get up at midnight, wander the streets with lanterns, visit friends, pray or meditate, have sex or write letters, and then by 2.00 am return to bed for 'Second Sleep' until sunrise.
Sleeping all night, as we know it, is a relatively recent invention, our bodies seem to need a break from time to time, so take one, it does no harm and may even make you sleep better and feel more rested in the morning!