It’s midnight and you’re still wide awake.
What do you do?
A nightcap? Marijuana? Sleeping pills? Melatonin?
Neither according to researcher and pharmacist John Devlin.
“If you’re lying in bed and 30 to 50 minutes have gone by, you should get up and do something: read, listen to music, use meditation apps,” Devlin says. “But don’t look at your phone or at the TV.”
Devlin is an intensive care unit researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as well as a professor of pharmacy and health systems sciences at Northeastern’s Bouve College of Health Sciences. He studies the interaction between sedating drugs and high-quality sleep — two different things, he notes — in patients, and particularly their relationship with delirium.
Sleep is a complex physiological process, Devlin says, and a better understanding of this is key to avoiding tossing and turning at night.