I don’t technically have insomnia. However, there are several nights each month where I find myself lying awake, with my mind racing and my body holding way too much energy for it to be night time. And, as seems to be the case, these nights usually occur when I need the sleep the most.
If you’re like me and find yourself struggling to sleep, here’s some things you can do:
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SET BEDTIME ROUTINE
Although this doesn’t change anything while you’re in the midst of a sleepless night, it can help cut back the number of nights you find yourself tossing and turning in the small hours of the morning. Having a set routine that you follow before going to sleep helps your mind realize that it needs to shut down. When you follow the same steps each time and go to bed at a consistent time, your body will adjust and learn to expect sleep.
One of the reasons why we find ourselves tossing and turning at night is a lack of relaxation. Around bedtime, work on becoming relaxed. Whether it’s taking a hot bath or shower, finding a white noise app that helps you chill out, or diffusing essential oils, we all have those things that relax us. Find what relaxes you, and implement it when it’s time for bed or if you can’t sleep.
FIND WAYS TO BE PRODUCTIVE THAT WON’T ENERGIZE
When I can’t sleep, I like to get things done; however, it’s important that the thing you check off your to-do list is not something that will give you more energy or wake your body up. For example, folding laundry in the quiet with a lamp on may help you relax and get sleepy.
Turning on lights, playing music, and getting homework done on your laptop probably won’t. If you have items on your list that need to be done and that can be done quietly and without technology, try getting them done and see if you get sleepier while doing them.
If you can’t sleep, one thing that will probably make your eyelids instantly heavier will be picking up a book. It’s important to realize that I just wrote BOOK, not online article or e-book on your tablet. Picking up a physical copy of a book and reading will usually bring sleep about quickly — an electronic copy will just mess with your melatonin levels.
GET OUT OF BED
If you’ve been tossing and turning for a while, sometimes even being in bed can stress you out a bit. When you find yourself becoming stressed over the fact you can’t sleep, it’s a good idea to leave your bed for a little bit. Stretch, leave the room and come back, whatever you need to do. Getting away from where you’re having a hard time sleeping can break the tension over having a hard time sleeping while allowing you to become comfortable when you head back to sleep.
GIVE UP FOR A BIT
As a last resort, when the time says it’s been a couple hours since I tried to go to sleep, I just give up on sleep. I pull out my laptop and get stuff written or get some tech organizing done. Maybe I take the time to organize my room or do some chores. I have found that once I decide I’m going to stop trying to fall asleep and just start doing things, my body usually finds itself trying to shut down.
What do you do on the nights where you can’t sleep? Let HYPELINE know in the comments!