Pillow Talk with Dr Idzikowski; Dr Chris Idzikowski Is Direc Tor of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr Idzikowski

I'm fascinated by a new study that has found the blood pressure of those with anger-management problems did not go down during the night, which can cause damage to the blood vessels. The findings tie in with other research that shows depression and chronic stress have the same impact. The study emphasises that the way we think when we're awake continues to have an impact during sleep. This leads to a reader's question...

Q I go to bed regularly at 10.30pm, fall asleep straight away, then wake up between 2am and 3am, my head spinning with illogical thoughts and worries.

I find it impossible to get back to sleep. If I get up and do some housework or read, I feel even worse the next day. How do I break the habit?

A I don't think it's your thoughts and worries waking you up.

Awakening happens on a roughly 90-minute cycle throughout the night, with deep sleep occurring in the first few hours. When you do wake up, avoid engaging in thinking. …