If you wake up in the middle of the night, it can often be a challenge to fall back to sleep. This can cause you to feel irritated and distressed, resulting in you feeling even more tired in the morning. Whether you have been diagnosed with insomnia (which can come in many forms) or are dealing with disrupted sleep, we’ve pulled together some of our top tips on how to fall back asleep when you wake up in the night.
If you’re part of the 3am club, there may be a number of reasons why you keep waking up. No matter what time you stir, waking up in the middle of the night is never fun. One thing that’s important to remember is that waking up in the night isn’t a problem and it’s usually nothing to worry about. In fact, most of us wake up several times in the night because of noises, needing to use the toilet or being too hot or cold.
Among the other reasons you could be waking up at these hours is because you’ve had a caffeinated or alcoholic drink late in the day, a poor sleep environment or another health condition.
Our sleep runs in approximately 90-minute cycles and within those cycles we go through different stages of sleep. These are NREM1, NREM2, NREM3 and REM. As we sleep through the night, we spend more time in a lighter sleep, which is why it can feel more pronounced when you wake briefly.
Now we have more of an understanding as to why we might be waking up in the night, let’s take a look at the things we can do to help us get settled and drift back off to sleeping soundly.
When thinking how to fall back asleep, one thing many of us are guilty of is watching the clock. Watching the minutes (and your available sleep time) pass by can raise your stress levels significantly and prevent you from drifting back off again. Instead of staring endlessly at the seconds ticking away, turn your clock around and keep your phone well out of sight.
Often if we’re feeling restless or stressed about trying to fall back asleep, it can cause our body to tense and become stiff. If you wake in the night try tensing and relaxing individual muscles to help relieve some of the physical tension and shake off that restless feeling. You could even try breathing exercises to help relax the nervous system and slow your heart rate too. Whether you do these sat up in bed or you find a cosy spot on the floor, stretching and breathing will help to transport your body to a more relaxed place.
Whether you’re worried or excited about something, these thoughts can sometimes wake us throughout the night as our minds are busy working away. To alleviate this, try having a sleep journal or pad and pen by your bed so that when you wake up, you’re able to jot down what’s been on your mind. By writing down your worries, thoughts and dreams, you’ll be able to drift off safe in the knowledge that you won’t forget anything important!
If you are going to start keeping notes whenever you wake, make sure to use a pen and paper rather than your smartphone. It’s likely that if you use your phone, you’ll become distracted and your brain will struggle to fully shut down again.
There are many free apps and relaxing sounds available online for you to use. Music and audiobooks can help to induce sleepiness, particularly if they’re familiar or consistent with no variation in sound and tempo. If you’re struggling to fall asleep or have woken in the middle of the night, pop on a pair of headphones and let your mind drift off as you listen to something relaxing and soothing.
Just like listening to something, visualisation techniques can have a similar affect. Instead of thinking about sleep, which can do a lot more harm than good, try visualising something like the classic counting sheep, which can lull your brain back into a slumber. Not a fan of farm animals? As long as the visualisation is relaxing and soothing, pretty much anything will work. Imagine yourself falling asleep on a sun lounger at your favourite holiday destination or sitting by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate listening to the crackling of the flames.
Let’s face it, the longer you lie in bed getting frustrated and stressed about how you can’t fall back asleep, the more you’ll associate it with those feelings. Instead of wasting time, hop out of bed and head to another room. Here you’ll have a fresh space to be able to read something or listen to music, giving you a short break. This will help alleviate stress and frustration, while allowing you to feel more relaxed and ready to drift off again.
A well-ordered space can help you towards your goal of a better night’s sleep. By keeping clutter at bay, you’re also helping to create a calm and soothing space, perfect for slipping off to the land of nod!
If you’re looking to revamp your bedroom, come and speak to the experts at Hammonds. We can help you to design your space, incorporating everything you want and need. From built-in and innovative storage solutions, to luxurious designs and finishes, you’ll have the bedroom of your dreams in no time.
Ready to transform your space? Get in touch with our expert team to book your design visit or ask any questions you have.