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Do you wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and lay awake for hours trying to fall back asleep?
We would like to inform you that you are not the only one suffering from this problem. Not being able to fall back asleep upon waking up way before sunrise can stop you from getting a decent amount of sleep. Eventually, you will get deprived of sleep and leave yourself vulnerable to all sorts of sleep disorders.
Most people who face this issue also suffer from excessive thinking. The continuous train of thoughts running in their heads during the day does not stop even after they are asleep. Upon waking up in the middle of the night, they try hard to fall back asleep, but they find it impossible to turn their minds off. It’s as if their mind won’t let them get back to sleep.
We understand your concerns, and that is why, in this post, we have shared a few tips to help you get back to sleep quickly and effortlessly.
6 Ways to Fall Back Asleep If You Wake up in the middle of the Night
1) Practice mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes
Not everyone can remain mindful all the time. At least not during sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to fall back asleep, surely, your mind must be racing a hundred miles an hour.
You cannot control what goes on in your brain while you are asleep, but you can practice tried and tested methods to quieten it for the next few hours.
This is where mindfulness meditation comes into play. Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment without judging or analyzing the events happening around you. There is even scientific-evidence proving mindfulness meditation to be effective in treating some aspects of sleep disturbance.
Upon waking up from sleep in the middle of the night, just sit quietly for 10 minutes and focus on your breathing. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Mindfulness meditation does not involve any intricate breathing techniques. You can let the light be dimmed or switched off. After about 5 minutes into the meditation, you will begin to feel calm and relaxed.
2) Don’t watch the clock
Frequently looking at the clock and thinking about how much sleep you can still get to recover from an unexpected and uninvited break in the middle of sleep can make you even more stressed.
A research paper published by Dr.Sharon M. O’Brien, who works with Presbyterian Sleep Health in Charlotte, N.C, concluded that staring at the clock can make insomnia even worse. She came to this resolution after studying a patient of hers who struggles with insomnia.
3) Go for a walk
Going for a walk in the middle of the night can be extremely difficult or even dangerous if you stay in a remote area. Although, you can surely make the best use of a treadmill or a stationary bike if you have one in your home or a nearby gym. But for those who stay in a big city can easily step out of their apartment and take a brisk walk for 15 minutes in the middle of the night.
Going for a walk can help those who are not able to get back to sleep due to excessive mental activity. If you can’t stop thinking about a particular issue in your life or your mind is just coming up with random things (and latching onto it), physical activity will help divert your attention from your mind to your body. Even Dr. Seth J. Gillihan considers walking to be beneficial for insomniacs.
We know that you are looking for non-medical and natural ways to get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. However, what if you have an important meeting the next morning? Or you are needed to be physically rested for a sports event?
In such a scenario, popping a sleep-inducing pill is the best solution. Even though it won’t fix the root cause of your sleep problems, it will help you sleep soundly and, in turn, keep you fresh the next day. We recommend getting an over-the-counter sleep-inducing pill like Tylenol PM. It contains diphenhydramine (an antihistamine), which helps you fall asleep faster.
5) Engage in an uninspiring activity
This is the only time when doing something boring and uninteresting can help you. In fact, this is the most underrated method to fall ball asleep faster. Just recall the last time you did something as boring as knitting or reading ancient literature.
We are sure you got fed up with it in minutes and decided to do something else. This is how this technique works. A monotonous activity can calm down your mind. In that situation, sleep would be a much better option.
6) Watch an ASMR video
Lastly, watching an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) video on YouTube will surely relax your nerves and make you feel good again. ASMR works exceptionally well for those who frequently struggle with panic attacks, depression, loneliness, etc. and as a result, wake up in the middle of the night with dreadful thoughts running in their mind.
In case you haven’t heard of ASMR before, it is a term coined in 2010 by an ASMRtist named Jennifer Allen. In an ASMR video, the artist makes you feel a tingling sensation that begins from your scalp region and moves down the back of the neck and then the upper spine. The feeling can also reach other areas of your body. The sensation is described as relaxing and unwinding; it can also generate a “low-grade euphoria”.
This is why we have performed thorough research before coming up with the suggestions mentioned above.
Now we’d like to hear from you. Which sleep-inducing technique did you like the most?