We all love it when we sleep well and have wonderful dreams. Like the Dalai Lama said, “sleep is the best meditation.” Generally speaking, sleep is the most pleasurable time of the day as you can hit the bed after a physically and mentally hard day’s work and get up fresh with a new perspective. But that’s possible only when you sleep well at night without interruptions for seven to nine hours. For many, this can be challenging as they wake up in the middle of the night and find difficulty falling asleep after.
Maybe it is because of dogs barking in the night, stress dreams, the need to go to the restroom, consuming caffeine or alcohol a little late in the evening, and even sleep apnea. Whatever may be the reason, it’s pretty frustrating, and nobody would want their peaceful slumber be disturbed! Nevertheless, it is no big deal if you wake up from your sleep in small hours because most of us undergo mini-awakenings up to 20 times per hour.
We’ve compiled some simple tricks in this blog that can help you doze off in a blink after waking up in the middle of the night.
10 Tips to Get Back to Sleep If You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night
Before we start with the tricks, it’s important to note that the causes of midnight awakenings differ for different people. The first step is to identify the cause of it–you can do so by asking yourself these questions. Are you going through any stress? Are you generally a light sleeper? Are there loud noises around you? Once you get a hint of the reason, try these tricks to fall back asleep.
Waking up abruptly from sleep can make you conscious and wide awake, making it difficult to go back to sleep. We suggest you calm yourself and try meditation. Simply breathing deeply from your diaphragm helps your mind and body to relax. It helps stimulate the production of oxytocin and sparks a feeling of safety. When you feel safe, the body produces melatonin, the sleep hormone, allowing you to sleep again.
Avoid Turning ‘On’ the Lights
When we don’t get sleep, we tend to switch on the room’s lights and pick up an activity, probably checking our phone or reading a book. But in all cases, you must avoid it. Lights hamper the production of melatonin in our body, causing you to be wide awake.
Don’t Use any Electronic Gadgets
In continuation to the above point, using an electronic gadget like a mobile phone, laptop, or even Kindle can make it difficult for you to sleep. This is because these gadgets emit blue light, and let us tell you, any color of light can squash melatonin creation. It might be tempting to grab your phone and scroll through social media, but remind yourself to STOP.
Lower Down the Temperature of the Room
Have you ever wondered why we feel more drowsy and slow-going during winters or when the climate is cool? Well, a cool temperature in your room helps you get a good sleep. So, if you get up at night, drop the temperature in the room and close your eyes, this can help you get back to sleep. An ideal room temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for a good night’s sleep.
Relax Your Muscles
Sometimes you cannot sleep because your body muscles are pretty stressed. It usually happens after a long, back-breaking day at work. That being the case, you can try relaxing your muscles–breathe in and tense a group of muscles for 5 seconds; then, as you exhale, relax the same group of muscles. You can start with your toes and move up to your forehead, and keep doing this until you feel the stress leaving your body.
Use the 4-7-8 Method
When some people wake up in the middle of the night, their heart beats faster than usual. The 4-7-8 breathing method can help bring back the heartbeat to a rate of 60 beats or less per minute. Here’s what you need to do–inhale deeply from your nose for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and then exhale through your mouth for eight counts. Do this at least four times, and try soothing your mind and body to fall back asleep.
Abstain from Checking the Time
This is the most common habit when people wake up in the middle of the night–check the time on the clock. And when dozing off soon feels like a far-fetched dream, we impulsively eagle-eye every minute that passes. However, this can make you anxious about not sleeping and get your mind flowing into negative thoughts.
Since anxiety and sleep are interlinked, anxious people overthink going to sleep, and people with sleep issues often get distressed.
Get Rid of Loud Sounds
If you get up because of a loud, disturbing sound, try to get rid of it. Shut your bedroom’s doors and windows properly to wall off those noises. If you’re still irritated, use earplugs or a noise machine to keep such distractions at bay. You can also try listening to white noise to free yourself from loud sounds.
Change Your Environment
Sometimes you get up from sleep because of distressing surroundings, like an uncomfortable mattress or pillow. Even a tiny amount of light from your window can disturb an individual’s sleep. In such cases, completely shut your room’s curtains or blinds, and always sleep with an eye mask on. Similarly, always remember to sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow as it stimulates good sleep.
Sleep Peacefully Without Disturbances
Apart from these tips and tricks, it is imperative to follow healthy sleep hygiene like avoiding drinking coffee at least 6 hours before your sleep time, not consuming heavy snacks or exercising before bedtime, and sleeping and getting up at the same time every day. Proper sleep hygiene will help you have a good night’s sleep, eliminating midnight awakenings.
But if a noisy bedfellow is disturbing your sleep because of their loud snoring, you can use smart anti-snoring solutions like Smart Nora that detects snoring sounds and gently moves the snorer’s pillow to stop them. Do not worry–it’s contact-free, hassle-free, and functions in silence, helping you sleep comfortably and enjoy snore-free nights.