Our expert says:
Two approaches. The traditional one is to check on your Sleep habits --- arrange to go to sleep at about the same time each night ; no stimulants like coffee NOR alcohol ( alcohol is especially liable to make you to wake up again after a few hours ) for several hours beforehand ; wind down with relaxing bath, book, etc ; and if you're not getting to sleep, don't lie there tossing and turning, but get up, go to a different room, and read or do something else soothing until you feel sleepy again.
The second element is to recogmize that it is actually a typical pattern in humans as in other animals, to sleep, wake middle of the night and then go back to sleep --- and if this is our pattern there's no point in worrying about it --- the worrying keeps you asleep. Our expectation of 8 straight hours of continuous sleep may be unrealistic. If one does wake in mid-night, don't worry, just meditate or do calming chores until sleepy again, and go back to sleep.
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