How Do I Get My Sleep Back on Track?
By Dr. Bill Rawls Posted 05-20-2022

Poor sleep can be frustrating — to say the least. Plus, the longer it goes on, the more discouraging it becomes. So can you really get your sleep back on track? Join Dr. Bill Rawls as he shares some simple ways to get better sleep and put an end to tossing and turning all night long. Learn more about how to stay asleep here.


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Video Transcript

Question: How do I get my sleep back on track?

Tim Yarborough: How do you know when the right time to go to bed is? This person wakes up at six, uses the bathroom, and they can’t get back to sleep.

Dr. Rawls: There are a lot of opinions out there and different sleep specialists that recommend different things. There are some sleep specialists that would suggest that condensing your sleep window to get your best sleep. In other words, you don’t go to sleep until you get sleepy, and that works for some people. So if you aren’t sleepy at 10:00, you don’t go to sleep at 10:00, you wait till 11:00 or 12:00 or whatever.

Personally, I found that what happened was the longer that I stayed awake, the more my brain got keyed up, and I would kick in that sympathetic overactivity, and it would get worse and worse and worse until I wouldn’t actually conk out until 2:00 or 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and then get disrupted sleep for three or four hours. And that happens for a lot of people.

So what I generally recommend is: Try to work toward a regular bedtime around 10:00. So if my bedtime is at 10:00, I start thinking about sleep at 8:00, you know? I’m winding down my day. I’m really careful about computers and televisions. You know, I’ve started playing, one thing that really helped is just playing a ukulele or something that isn’t visual. You know, you’re not looking at a screen. You’re not reading some exciting thing, and it’s calming. So those kinds of things can really be helpful.

Qigong in the evenings is really nice. That’s an ancient Chinese art movement. Yoga can be very nice. So anything to wind down your body, turn your brain down. So turn your lights down, you know, start making things dark. So you, so instead of taking melatonin, make melatonin. If the lights go out, you’ll start making melatonin. The problem is, we’ve got all this artificial light around us, and we’re not making melatonin like we’re supposed to.

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About the Medical Director
Dr. Bill Rawls
Dr. Rawls is a licensed medical doctor in North Carolina and a leading expert in integrative health. He has extensive training in alternative therapies, and is the Medical Director of Vital Plan, a holistic health and herbal supplement company in Raleigh, NC.
  • Dr. Bill Rawls

    ABOUT BILL RAWLS, M.D.

    Dr. Rawls is a licensed medical doctor in North Carolina and a leading expert in integrative health. He has extensive training in alternative therapies, and is the Medical Director of Vital Plan, a holistic health and herbal supplement company in Raleigh, NC.

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