When you’re struggling to sleep at night, worrying about falling asleep can make the task that much harder.
Some people may stay in bed, tossing and turning, waiting in vain for sleep to come, while others might give up and scroll through social media until they feel sleepy.
But there’s an unusual method of falling asleep might have you on a train to dreamland in just a quarter of an hour.
So what is the 15 minute sleep rule?
What is the 15 minute rule?
A study by the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute published a guide to getting a better night’s sleep that included the ‘quarter of an hour rule.’
Surprisingly, the rule suggests that if you can’t sleep, you should stop trying—for 15 minutes.
As the guide explains, ‘If you have difficulties sleeping you’ve probably noticed that you spend lots of time in bed awake. This means that bed might become connected with being awake, frustrated or anxious about sleep.’
It is already well-documented that anxiety can have a negative impact our slumber.
The guide suggests that the best thing to do in this situation is to ‘get out of bed’.
It reads: ‘If you notice that you aren’t asleep within around 15 minutes of going to bed, try getting out of bed, go to another room, go through your wind down routine until you are feeling sleepy-tired and ready to return to bed for sleep.’
Yep, it sounds counter intuitive, but moving away from your bed to help to reset your brain, starting your bedtime routine all over again – with more restful results.
A key part of the rule is to not watch the clock as this will stop you from properly unwinding.
Instead, you should estimate when 15 minutes have passed.
It is also recommended that you don’t get on your phone or watch TV. Instead, try to engage in a more peaceful activity such as reading, meditation, or yoga.
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