5 Things to try when you can’t fall back to sleep

-May 25, Jenny Paul , Health -

If you’re plagued by 4am wake ups which leave you unable to fall back to sleep then these tips might help you in your pursuit of a decent night’s sleep. 

If you’re all too familiar with waking up in the middle of the night and finding it impossible to drift back off again, then you know how frustrating and stressful it can be.

Time seems to drag as you furiously will yourself to slip back into silent slumber only to finally find sleep JUST before your alarm clock signals that it’s time to get back up.

Since quality sleep is so important to our overall wellbeing finding a way to fall back into the land of nod when your sleep is regularly disrupted is imperative, which is why Lumity have compiled these top five tips for getting back to sleep after a middle-of-the-night wake up.

Related: How to deal with sleep deprivation

Get out of bed

It may seem counter intuitive but if, after you feel you’ve been awake for approximately 20 mins, you can’t get back to sleep then get out of bed and walk out of the bedroom. You may fear it’s going to wake you further but taking your mind off the panic of still being awake might be just what you need. Grab a book, do a puzzle or some light stretching. Then flop back into bed and try again. 

Practice your breathing

Huffing and puffing and tossing and turning doesn’t help matters. But deep breathing on the other hand can help your body relax and remove the tension that’s likely been building. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. Just the practice of slowly breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth can put you in a rhythmic and relaxed state of body and mind. 

Don’t turn on a screen

It can be incredibly tempting to grab your phone and scroll through a few websites, check your emails – you’re awake anyway – or watch TV. But while zoning in to blue light emitting devices might take your mind off your sleep problems in that moment, it can worsen the problem overall.

Related: What does blue light do to your skin?

Additionally if you open a work message you could find yourself unable to get your mind off that and your stress levels can skyrocket as well. 

Count backwards

Lull yourself back to sleep with a simple mental exercise, such as counting backwards from 100. It takes your mind off everything else but it’s boring enough that it’ll hopefully cause you to drift off. For something a little more challenging you could count backwards from 300 in 3s. It may take a couple of rounds but you’ll be surprised how something so simple can be so effective.

Don’t check the time

Don’t add to your anxiety by looking at the time, because at the end of the day what difference does it make?

Discovering it’s 4.30am and you’ve only got two hours until wake up puts even more pressure on you to fall back to sleep ASAP. But come 5.30am you’re probably still awake and then you may as well get up anyway. 

If you were unaware of the time you’d focus on following the steps to fall back to sleep rather than dealing with the stress of worrying about how little time you have left to sleep.

How to improve sleep

There are also things you can do in the daytime to create a good sleeping habit so that you hopefully won’t wake up in the first place. 

 – go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day, regardless of if it’s the weekend or not. Your body likes routine and when thrown off kilter it can wreak havoc on your sleep pattern. Your circadian rhythm, also known as your body clock is what regulates your sleep, metabolism, oxygen consumption and so much more. You are primed to be awake in the day and asleep at night, but if your brain is getting mixed signals you may find yourself alert at nighttime when you should be sleeping. 

Related: Everything you need to know about circadian rhythm

 – Adding Lumity Morning and Night Supplements to your wellness routine can reduce tiredness. Since they’re formulated to work with your circadian rhythm to deliver the right nutrients at the right time they can help you have more energy in the day and rest and repair at night.

 – exercise is important for your health and your sleep. While you don’t want to workout too close to bedtime, fitting in physical activity on a daily basis will help you sleep better overall. 

 – a nightcap can help you drift off in the first place but once your body starts metabolising the alcohol your sleep can get disrupted. Save the wine and whiskey for earlier in the evening or avoid it entirely if your sleep issues are seriously concerning you.

 – reducing your stress levels isn’t easy but if you’re struggling to sleep you might want to work on how you can be less stressed. If you have a  lot on your mind it’s not surprising you wake up and worry about it. Learn some stress reducing techniques and put them into play for a healthier and happier lifestyle. 

If you are interested in some tips to reduce and deal with stress than read what Dr. Rangan Chatterjee told Lumity about what he advises and learn the secret signs that you’re stressed too.

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