Getting Back to Sleep
It’s normal to wake briefly during the night but if you’re having trouble falling back asleep, these tips may help:
- Stay out of your head. Hard as it may be, try not to stress over your inability to fall asleep again, because that stress only encourages your body to stay awake. Remind yourself that you can function without the ideal amount of sleep. Also reminder yourself that the number of hours is not as important and the quality.
- Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. If you find it hard to fall back asleep, try a relaxation technique such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation, which can be done without even getting out of bed. Even though it’s not a replacement for sleep, relaxation can still help rejuvenate your body.
- Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity. If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity, such as reading a book. Keep the lights dim and avoid screens so as not to cue your body that it’s time to wake up.
- Postpone worrying and brainstorming. If you wake during the night feeling anxious about something, make a brief note of it in a journal and postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve. Similarly, if a great idea is keeping you awake, make a note of it in your journal and fall back to sleep knowing you’ll be much more productive after a good night’s rest. Using a journal will ensure that you can keep track of these thoughts but it will also allow you to see if there are trends regarding the things that are keeping you awake.