I wake up at 4am every morning and can’t get back to sleep. What can I do to fall asleep again? © Getty Images

I wake up at 4am every morning and can’t get back to sleep. What can I do to fall asleep again?

Try not to stress about it and try reading a book instead.

Early morning waking without the ability to return to sleep can be a symptom of insomnia. The recommended treatment here is usually ‘cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia’ (CBT-I), in which people learn that, when unable to sleep, you should get out of bed and, if possible, do something relaxing such as reading or listening to soothing music until you feel sleepy again. Relaxation techniques, including mindfulness and muscle relaxation, can be incorporated too.

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Some people wake up early for different reasons, though, such as a condition known as ‘advanced sleep phase disorder’. It’s important to discuss any sleep concerns with a healthcare provider before making a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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