5 Things That Might Be Keeping You Awake At Night, Plus How To Get Back To Sleep After You Wake Up — INFOGRAPHIC
There's no getting around it: Sleeplessness sucks. But have you ever tried to figure out exactly what might be keeping you awake at night? This infographic has some ideas — and it's also got some suggestions for what to do in order to drop back off again later on. Because everybody deserves to sleep like a baby, am I right?
UK mattress and bed retailer Dreams.co.uk has an immensely helpful blog component called The Sleep Matters Club — and even better, it's always full of infographics (and you all know how much I love a good infographic). This time, their research has led them to create a chart that demystifies why you might be having trouble falling asleep at night. It also includes some suggestions on how to mitigate those problems and help you fall back asleep after you wake up. Bustle's Gabrielle Moss just gamely tested out seven different insomnia remedies; since the suggestions she tried are geared towards helping you fall asleep in the first place, though, this infographic makes a nice companion piece if your problem isn't falling asleep, but staying asleep.
Here are three of the problems I suffer from most commonly myself; scroll down to see the full infographic.
1. Restless Leg Syndrome
I don't think I actually have Restless Leg Syndrome — I haven't been diagnosed with it or anything — but sometimes I feel kind of antsy all over in the middle of the night. If you, however, do have Restless Leg Syndrome, experts say that gentle stretching before bed can help alleviate it, as might a warm bath. If you wake up in the middle of the night, try doing some relaxation exercises or meditation — it might help you focus and calm your nerves down enough to drift off again.
2. Your Pet
I love my cats… but sometimes, they make sleeping really, really difficult. Sometimes they like to climb all over us in the middle of the night. Sometimes they decide they want to play at 3AM and wack me across the face to wake me up. Sometimes they do... whatever that cat up there is doing. Sometimes they cuddle up so close to us that they kind of start pushing us off the bed. It's awkward.
The easy solution, of course, is to train your pets to sleep in a different room or to shut your bedroom door when you go to bed. If, though, you kind of like having your fuzzy beasts around while you sleep even when they get really annoying… well, you just might have to deal with it. One trick I did learn with my cats is to change up their feeding times: If we feed them in the evening, they don't tend to wake us up in the wee hours of the morning for breakfast anymore. So, y'know… there's that.
Confession: This is usually what keeps me awake, and none of the tips I've tried have ever actually helped me get back to sleep. But maybe you'll either have better luck or be more disciplined than I am, so here are a few to try:
- Have a warm, decaffeinated drink. Milk or herbal tea are good bets.
- Meditate. And don't do what I do, which is start trying to meditate, then think “this is stupid” and stop. That is exactly how not to meditate.
- Get up and do something else. I have this problem where if I get up to do something else, then I just don't ever go back to bed — but maybe it'll work better for you. Seriously. Don't just sit there tossing and turning; it'll make you associate your bed with sleeplessness instead of rest.
- Cut out the booze. It'll screw with your quality of sleep, and when you're already having trouble dropping off? Double trouble, my friends.
See the full infographic below for more reasons you might be having trouble falling asleep — and tips on how to head back into Slumberland when you wake up: