How to Fall Back Asleep
Everyone’s heard the spiel about how vital it is to get a good night’s sleep. If you somehow missed the memo, just know that getting good sleep comes with plenty of benefits.
"Oh, we're fast asleep." Showoffs.
What no one seems to mention is just how *impossible* a task actually getting some decent sleep can be. Even if you manage to silence the nagging voice in your head long enough to fall asleep, half the time you’ll just wake right up again a few hours later.
That’s the awful middle-of-the-night-can’t-fall-back-asleep limbo that we all know and loathe. Don’t just count sheep until you think you might scream, though. Try these tips.
Five Tips to Help You Fall Back AsleepUnfortunately, we can’t offer you some incredible cure that will help you fall back asleep instantly every time you wake up at night.
(But for any scientists reading this, get to work on that, asap! K, thx.)
In the meantime, these are some helpful tips on how to fall back asleep that genuinely do work.
1. Get upOkay, we’re not messing with you. Stay with us here. It might sound counterintuitive, but our number one suggestion for falling back asleep is getting up and out of bed.
Once you’ve been lying awake in bed for more than about 15 or 20 minutes, your best move is to get up and leave your bedroom. Lying in bed actively trying to fall asleep can keep you from falling back asleep.
Dr. Michelle Drerup of the Cleveland Clinic explains the root of this phenomenon as associating the bedroom with not sleeping well which leads to, you guessed it, sleeping even worse.
It’s a vicious cycle. Thanks, brain.
So get up, do something boring in another room, and then head back to bed when your eyelids get heavy again.
2. Try a breathing exercise
Breathing exercises are right up there in the “how to fall back asleep” basic kit.
Don’t worry, breathing exercises don’t have to be anything flashy. Just breathing in deeply and slowly exhaling can be helpful because it gets you focused on your breath and not on how frustrating it is that you can’t fall asleep and, consequently, how soon you have to be awake.
If you want to up the ante a little, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This technique involves inhaling through your nose for four seconds then holding your breath for seven seconds before finally exhaling from your mouth for eight seconds.
Repeat these steps four times and you might be surprised how relaxed you feel. Before you know it, you'll back in Snoozeburg.
Wine is relaxing, deep breathing is better.
3. Don’t watch the clockEver heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils”? Well, we need a similar one that goes “a person staring at the clock will never fall right back asleep.”
It’s harsh but true.
However tempted you might be to watch the minutes tick by, resist that urge. You’ll just stress yourself out about not getting enough sleep and end up getting even less sleep.
Turn the clock away from you and try not to fixate too much on what time it is. If that doesn't help, remind yourself that time is a man-made construct.
4. Turn down the lightsYes, this tip on how to fall back to sleep can more or less be summarized as “hello darkness, my old friend.”
Darkness truly is your friend when it comes to falling back asleep quickly. Or falling asleep, period.
Light exposure can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime, throwing off your circadian rhythm. Even just the brightness from your phone can be a problem. If your brain believes it’s daytime, you’re going to have an uphill battle falling back asleep.
The solution, luckily, is simple. Avoid using electronics in the middle of the night and block off as much light to your bedroom as possible.
5. Make your bed a comfy, cozy haven
All right, we might be biased here but surely having a ludicrously comfortable bed can’t hurt your chances of falling back asleep quickly, right?
Our soft, temperature-balancing eucalyptus sheet sets, in particular, could lull anyone back to sleep. Try them and see for yourself.
If deep, uninterrupted sleep were a fabric.