There are only a handful of experiences in life that rival the relaxation and pleasure of slipping under the covers and into your comfortable bed after a long day’s work for a night of deep, restorative sleep.
The power of quality sleep can’t be emphasized heavily enough. When you get enough sleep, you feel energized, have a brighter outlook, and perform better both mentally and physically.
On the flip side, when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re lethargic, grumpy, hungry, less motivated to workout and don’t partition nutrients as well, which all can impact your results during your transformation challenge
The latter is a scenario in which many of us find ourselves after a night spent tossing and turning trying to find relief where it constantly eludes us.
Here are 8 ways to get back to sleep when it feels impossible.
How to Get Back to Sleep When It Feels Impossible
#1 Don’t Look at the Clock
This scenario is all-too-familiar: you fall asleep as usual, then wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock to see what time it is. You roll back and forth a few times and then find yourself staring at the clock for the next 30, 40, or 60 minutes wondering when the heck you’ll fall back asleep.
Staring endlessly at the clock is a recipe for disaster as it imparts feelings of stress, anxiety, and frustration.
Simply put, avoid looking at the clock by all means. It can help to wear a sleep mask and/or not keep a clock in your room at all. If you need an alarm, you can use your phone and leave it in the other room, this also has the dual-benefit of making your room darker, which promotes a better sleeping environment.
#2 Remove Unnecessary Lights
Building off of the previous point, clocks, cell phones, tablets, TVs, etc. all emit varying amounts of light, which can directly impair melatonin production.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle and light (especially blue light from electronics) decreases our bodies ability to naturally synthesize it.
For optimal sleep, you want to make your room as dark as possible. Remove any and all unnecessary electronics and lights from the room and you’ll have one less hurdle when trying to get back to sleep when it feels impossible.
#3 Think of Your Last Dream
As strange as it may seem, thinking of what you were just dreaming about before you woke up may help you get back to sleep.
You might not be able to remember all the details, but trying to re-immerse your mind in what you were just dreaming of may help stimulate the sleep centers in the brain, allowing you to quickly get back to sleep.
#4 Use a Pen & Paper
One of the main reasons individuals have trouble falling asleep (or falling back asleep after they wake up in the middle of the night) is that their minds are abuzz with things that need to get done the next day.
Grabbing a pen and paper and writing these things down, instead of trying to mull them over in your mind and remember them for the morning, can help unload your mind and let you fall back to sleep more quickly.
Now, you might be tempted to keep your phone on your nightstand so you can jot down these reminders in one of your apps, but if you remember point #2, you want to remove any extraneous sources of light (including your smartphone) from the bedroom
Keep a pen and paper on the nightstand and leave the phone (and clock) in the other room.
#5 Use Progressive Relaxation
For many of us, laying awake at night can be a source of stress, which is only exacerbated by the fact that we’re focusing on how long it takes us to fall back asleep.
Instead of focusing on getting back to sleep (or the difficulty you’re having in accomplishing that), try progressive relaxation techniques.
Start by concentrating on relaxing every muscle in your body, beginning with your toes. Breathe in deep while clenching your toes, hold for 5-10 seconds, and then breathe out and relax everything over a 5-10 count.
Keep working your way up from your toes and don’t be surprised if you’re asleep before you reach your shoulders and arms!
#6 Try Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is definitely a sleep hack of the beaten path, but you’ll be amazed at how effective it can be!
In fact, alternate nostril breathing may also help lower stress, heart rate, and blood pressure, in addition to helping you get back to sleep.
To perform alternate nostril breathing:
- Begin by laying down in bed with your eyes closed (which you should already be doing)
- Place your thumb and index finger over your nose like you’re trying to pinch it (but don’t actually do so)
- Close off your left nostril and breathe deeply through your right nostril
- Hold your breath for 3 seconds, then close off your right nostril and release the held breath through your left nostril.
- Repeat this up to a 10-second hold.
- Perform this cycle up to three more times
#7 Don’t Judge Yourself
Getting frustrated and engaging in negative self-talk isn’t going to do you any favors when trying to get back to sleep.
Seriously, one of the worst things you can do is beat yourself up for having difficulty falling asleep. All this does is increase worrying and stress, which inevitably keeps you awake the following day/night and the vicious cycle of not getting to sleep continues.
If you have one of those nights where you can’t get back to sleep, chalk it up to a one-off occasion, and instead of beating yourself up about it, think of how much better you’ll sleep the next night!
#8 Try Supplements
In addition our nighttime sleep aids use ingredients that help with night time weight loss support.
Both adequate 7-8 hours and quality sleep is necessary for your ability to grow and repair muscle. Poor quality sleep will negatively impact your growth hormone levels because up to 3/4 of daily human growth hormone release happens during the deepest sleep cycle. If you cannot get good nights’ rest and if you keep waking up at night, you will benefit from this product.
Sleep is something absolutely essential to your health and wellness, yet many individuals struggle to get quality sleep each night.
Use the tips outlined above to help get back to sleep the next time you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to fall back asleep.