Have you ever had one of those nights that defy logic? Nights that, for whatever reason, though you lie down at the normal time with every expectation that you'll soon be asleep, somehow you find yourself awake hours later, with no hint of sleepiness.
Despite the fact that you have had no extra caffeine, you aren't particularly worried or especially pained, and you experienced a normal amount of physical exertion during your day, you still somehow find yourself lying flat on your back, eyes wide open, totally sleepless.
You've tried daydreaming and counting sheep. You've cycled through your mental checklist to ensure that there's no subconscious existential crisis keeping you awake. You're still at a loss.
"Okay," you say to yourself, "what's next?"
7 Tips and Tricks for Nights When You Can't Sleep
Tip 1: Stay still.
While a regular exercise routine will indeed help you feel tired at night, the time for exercise is in the morning. Any activity, even light exercise like walking, will increase circulation and boost levels of alertness. So while it may seem like a good idea to take a walk and "tire yourself out," this will likely prove counterintuitive. So just stay still.
Tip 2: Reboot your routine.
If staying still is more frustrating than helpful when you can’t sleep, it's not a good idea to lie there rolling around and fretting for extended periods of time. Instead, try rebooting your bedtime routine. Get out of bed, accomplish a small ten-minute task, and crawl back in bed.
This will keep you from frustration, which leads to further sleeplessness. It will also, in some cases, trick your body into thinking it's actually bedtime and cause you to fall asleep.
Tip 3: Adjust the temperature.
According to experts, room temperature can play a part in falling and staying asleep.
In general, the suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. When lying in bed trying to snooze, your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep—and the proposed temperatures above can actually help facilitate this. If your room is cool, rather than warm, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night. Thermostat settings far lower or higher than what's recommended could lead to restlessness and can also affect the quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
This can be one of the tasks you give yourself during your ten-minute reboot. Check your thermostat to see if it's set at an optimum temperature to facilitate sleep.
After you've adjusted it, consider getting a throw blanket out of the closet. Nothing's cozier than snuggling under a heavy blanket. The thought alone is making us want to drift off!
Tip 4: Succumb to a story.
While it's tempting to think that Netflix and its magical autoplay function can shepherd us directly into dreamland, there is way too much evidence linking screen time and sleeplessness for us to recommend this one in good faith. In most cases, a bright screen will not lull us to sleep. Instead, it will only serve to wake us up further.
Try reading a good book instead! Just be sure it's a tangible, physical book and not an app on your phone or tablet.
Better still, consider playing an audiobook. Lie in the dark, with your eyes closed, and let the story wash over you. Fortunately, most audio-streaming apps come with auto-snooze functions that you can set ahead of time, saving you from the worry that you'll fall asleep while the book plays all night without you.
Tip 5: Just Breathe.
Believe it or not, certain breathing techniques have proven effective in bringing on sleep. While some people like to accompany these breathing techniques with meditation or prayer, others find that the simple, physical act of controlling their breathing is enough to start the sleep cycle. Breathing techniques slow the heart rate, lower stress, and often prove successful in triggering sleep.
Tip 6: Start drinking.
We're not talking about alcohol. At least, not necessarily. Although many people enjoy a glass of wine before bed, alcohol is not listed among the top drinks shown to help trigger sleep.
Instead, consider curling up with a cup of milk (dairy or soy), chamomile tea, a banana shake, or any smoothie high in magnesium. Of course, drinking at night comes with its own risks. The more you drink, the higher the likelihood that, should this method prove successful, you will eventually wake back up to use the washroom. We will let you weigh the risks against the rewards on this one.
Tip 7: Use the time.
On nights like these, there often comes a time at which we acknowledge that for whatever reason, we probably won't be sleeping. When that time comes, consider making good use of your time. Re-organize your desk drawers. Clean the inside of the fridge. Write a few thank-you notes. Engage in some light chores, such as dusting or laundry-folding. The good news is that if you get tired during these tasks (as you do on most Saturdays), you can always go lie down! Win-win!
We Can Help
Here at Nest Bedding, we know the value of a good night's sleep. Not only does it improve mood and memory, but it also has been known to curb inflammation, spur creativity, and even help you live longer! These benefits definitely should not be ignored.
While a few sleepless nights here and there might not spell your doom, it's certainly a trend you want to curb; therefore, you should do what you can to make bedtime easy and stress-free.
One way to help ensure a good night's sleep is by investing in a quality mattress. When you're totally comfortable, totally supported, and totally cozy, it's hard not to fall asleep.
If you're on the hunt for a new mattress, feel free to contact us. Better yet, stop by and see us in person. Our staff is courteous, caring and helpful without being pushy. We would love to meet you, learn specifics about what you're looking for, and help connect you with the perfect mattress.
We look forward to serving you!