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Why Do I Feel Sleepy Until the Moment I Get in Bed?

Why Do I Feel Sleepy Until the Moment I Get in Bed?
From TIME - February 28, 2017

Youve craved sleep all day. You fell asleep watching Netflix. But the second you get into bed you are wide awake.

Lying in bed unable to fall asleep is often called conditioned or lured arousal, says sleep-medicine specialist Philip Gehrman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. It's one of the most common sleep problems, and experts think it happens because something in your sleep environment has told your brain that getting in bed should arouse you or wake you up, instead of put you to sleep.

If someone is a good sleeper, then each night they probably get in bed and fall asleep. So when they get into bed it triggers this auto response of sleepiness, Gehrman says. But if you spend night after night tossing and turning not being able to fall asleep, then your body associates that with your bed instead.

There are plenty of obvious things that can trigger tossing and turning, and thinking about work right before you try to wind down is one. Using a laptop in bed, which creates the idea of the bed as a place for work or entertainment, is another.

But even those with normally good sleep habits can get thrown into this kind of sleep cycle after a stressful eventa job loss, say, or the death of a loved one, according to Dr. Ronald Chervin, director of the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center. Worrying disrupts your sleep, and that pattern can cause your brain to associate your bed with wakefulness in the same way it would if you were using a laptop.

It's sometimes called " psychophysiological insomnia " and o nce it starts, the cycle of sleeplessness tends to perpetuate itself.

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