6 Ways To Help You Fall Back Asleep At Night
Falling asleep is hard enough, but when you wake up in the middle of the night only to find yourself tossing and turning again, it can be extremely frustrating. Whether you had a bad dream or couldn't stop thinking about the following day, it's important you figure out ways to help you fall back asleep, stat. Pondering how to fall back asleep can actually keep you up for longer, so if you have a plan of action when you awake in the middle of the night, it can help you delve right back into a cozy slumber.
"People who struggle with insomnia and frequent awakenings attribute it to a multitude of factors," says licensed psychotherapist and wellness expert Denise Limongello in an interview with Bustle. "Research shows that poor sleep habits can be a result of both physiological as well as psychological issues. Increased anxiety levels, which can cause excessive worrying are often reported as a leading cause for poor sleep and frequent awakenings."
Waking up during the night isn't all that uncommon, as it is a part of our normal sleep cycle, according to Prevention. But problems arise when we aren't able to fall back asleep during these wakings.
Next time you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, try these six tips to fall back asleep in no time.
1. Cool Off
"Studies show that people have an easier time falling asleep in cooler temperatures, and often sudden waking up can be a result of overheating," says Limongello. "If you wake up...taking the time to lower the thermostat a notch or two can be useful in helping you get back to sleep."
2. Make A To-Do List
Anxiety is often the cause of waking up at night, so managing this stress can help lull you back to sleep. "Having a 'to-do' list can be a great way to organize your daily tasks and eliminate the anxiety that can ensue with having the pressure to remember everything you need to do in a day," says Limongello.
3. Try Different Relaxation Techniques
Focusing on your body and relaxing your breath can help yourself unwind if you're feeling tense. Whether it's a light yoga pose, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, relaxation techniques are effective at bringing you back to slumber, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
4. Eat A Midnight Snack
"People often wake up in the middle of the night in response to hunger," says Limongello. "If you eat dinner too early, you might awake because you're hungry, again. Eating dinner a little closer to your bedtime than you typically do can be a way to make sure you're satiated enough for the night. Or, getting up and having a 'midnight snack' can be a way to satisfy yourself and get back to sleep easier."
5. Avoid Light
It might be tempting to flick the light switch on, but doing so can mess up your body's natural circadian rhythms. Our bodies' interpret light as a signal to be alert, so if you have to get up, use a small bedside light or flashlight to move around.
6. Take Off The Pressure
"Individuals who struggle with insomnia and frequent awakenings often report putting pressure on themselves to get back to sleep, which can lead to increased anxiety levels and frustration," says Limongello. "Increased anxiety most likely will only hinder your sleep. Simply letting yourself lie in bed and rest, even if you aren't successful at falling back to sleep, right away, can help you get to a more relaxed state than tossing and turning all night."
Keeping these tips in mind should help you fall back asleep, but if you have constant problems waking up in the middle of the night, you may want to discuss a personal treatment with your doctor.
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