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Can’t Sleep? 9 Tips to Help You Get Back to Sleep Fast

We’ve all been there – you wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly your mind is racing. Maybe you’re stressing about work, or you can’t stop thinking about that awkward conversation you had earlier. Whatever the reason, once you’re awake, it can be hard to fall back asleep.

Lying in bed, watching the minutes tick by, gets exhausting fast. You start wondering things like “What if I can’t fall back asleep?” And that’s the last thing you need, because stress and anxiety will just keep you up longer.

So what can you do to catch those zzz’s again quickly? I’ve got some tips that have helped me get back to sleep without staring at the ceiling for hours. But first, let’s go over a couple key questions:

Why Does It Feel So Hard to Fall Back Asleep?

When you wake up in the middle of your sleep cycle, it can be tough to resettle your body and mind for sleep mode. Any slight stressor, from money worries to a pet’s movements, can trigger your brain into wake-up mode as it produces cortisol. The harder you try to force sleep, the more awake you may feel.

Is It Bad If I Can’t Fall Right Back Asleep?

Waking up occasionally during the night is totally normal and not something to stress over. It’s only considered a sleep disorder if you’re frequently staying awake for long periods and it impacts your daily functioning. A regular nighttime wakeup likely won’t throw off your sleep habits unless you let it turn into a few hours of tossing and turning.

With that out of the way, here are 9 tips to help send you back to dreamland :

  1. Stay Out of Your Head As soon as you wake up in the night, your mind may start spinning with thoughts – your to-do list, a problem at work, that awkward conversation replaying on loop. This racing brain activity can make you feel wired and block quality sleep. As best you can, avoid engaging with those thoughts and gently redirect your mind to more peaceful subjects.
  2. Get Out of Bed If you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and leave the bedroom. Staying put can create an unhealthy mental connection between your bed and wakefulness. Go somewhere else and do a calm, soothing activity until you feel sleepy again. Reading a book, light stretching, or listening to quiet music can help relax your mind.
  3. …But Don’t Look at Screens Whatever you do when getting out of bed, avoid screen exposure as much as possible. The blue light from TVs, laptops, phones, and tablets can suppress your body’s natural melatonin production and trick your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up. If you must use a device, activate its night mode and lower the brightness.
  4. Try Relaxation Techniques Deep breathing exercises, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and other calming techniques can quiet your mind and relax your body for better sleep. See if picturing a peaceful scene, like walking on a beach, helps lull you back to dreamland. Apps with free guided meditations can also do the trick.
  5. …Or Listen to a Bore-Fest If your brain won’t shut off its whirlwind of thoughts, pull out the big guns: an incredibly dull podcast or audiobook. I’m talking real snoozers here on subjects you couldn’t care less about, like the intricacies of packing peanut production. As long as it’s not too interesting, that monotonous voice may boring you right to sleep.
  6. Do Light Stretches or Yoga If you’re feeling restless or achy, a few gentle stretches or poses could be the answer. Flowing through some easy yoga can help release physical and mental tension. Just make sure you don’t get your heart pumping too much, as that can awaken your body further.
  7. Have a Healthy Snooze-Inducing Snack Going to bed even a little hungry can disrupt sleep for some people. If your tummy’s rumbling, go for a small protein-rich snack like a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, or some turkey slices. Avoid big meals, sugary treats, or anything that could upset your stomach and keep you up.
  8. Adjust the Temperature Cooler bedroom temps can absolutely impact sleep quality. Somewhere around 65°F (18°C) is ideal for most people. If you tend to wake up feeling too hot or cold, crack a window, add or remove blankets, or adjust that thermostat as needed to get your space in the perfect Goldilocks zone.
  9. When All Else Fails, Get Up for the Day If you’ve tried everything and still can’t fall back asleep after an hour or more, it may be better to start your day. Staying in bed and becoming frustrated increases your stress and makes it even harder to sleep. Get up, keep lights dim, and do some light, relaxing activities until you start feeling sleepy again that night.

The next time you find yourself wide awake at 3 am, don’t panic. Try out these tips and get your mind and body back into restorative sleep mode. Taking a relaxed, fuss-free approach (instead of clinging to your pillow tighter) may be all you need to quickly catch those zzz’s again.

What are your go-to tricks for falling back asleep quickly? Drop a comment and share your tips! Giving each other more solutions can help the whole insomnia-struggling community.

And if these suggestions just aren’t cutting it for you, never hesitate to talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist about exploring other options. Getting good quality sleep is so crucial for our health and well-being.

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Welcome to OldChakra, your sanctuary for chakra healing, spiritual growth, and nature therapy. At OldChakra, we believe in the transformative power of ancient practices and natural therapies to harmonize mind, body, and spirit. Our mission is to guide you on a journey of self-discovery and holistic well-being through insightful articles, practical tips, and inspiring stories.