Awake Before the Rooster? Here’s How to Fall Back Asleep Fast
Falling into a restful slumber is something many of us look forward to at night. It’s a bit of a surprise when we suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep.
Don’t let the idea of falling back asleep become a distant dream. There are a few tips and tricks you can try to help you relax and drift right back to sleep.
Don’t Look at the Clock
When you wake up, and it’s still dark outside, it’s tempting to reach for your smartphone to see if you should try going back to sleep. But do your best to resist. Looking at the time to see how much sleep you might be losing can be stressful and make it harder to fall asleep again. Plus, the bright light from your phone can make you even more alert.
Instead, make it a point to try to go back to sleep regardless of the time. If it’s still dark and quiet outside, assume there’s still time to sleep.
Make Your Body Comfortable
Comfort is everything when you’re trying to sleep. This not only means having a cosy bed but also ensuring your body is in a comfortable state. Try a bedtime tea to help you sleep, like camomile or lemon balm. These teas – often called tisanes because, being herbal, they are not technically teas – promote sleep by helping your brain relieve stress, allow you to relax, and ease you into a restful sleep.
Also, if you wake in the middle of the night, go to the bathroom as it's one less thing that could keep you awake. It will put your body at ease to go back to sleep.
Do Something Else
Experts suggest that if you can’t fall back asleep quickly, you should take a break from trying to sleep and do something else. Get out of bed and go to another room. Read a book with just enough light to see the words (too much light can make you too alert for sleep) or listen to relaxing music. Try to avoid stressful activities like working or paying bills.
This serves two purposes:
First, lying in bed awake for too long can cause your body to associate your bed with wakefulness instead of sleep. While it might be tough to leave a comfy bed in the middle of the night, you’re actually setting yourself up for success in the long run.
And second, once you’ve had a chance to do something else, you can return to bed and try to fall asleep again. A little distraction can go a long way in relaxing your mind and improving your sleep.
Try a “Full-Body Scan”
Many people report that intentional relaxation throughout the body helps them fall asleep faster. You can try this “full-body scan” method when you first lie down at night and if you wake during the middle of the night. Here’s how:
- Close your eyes and take some deep breaths.
- Focus on relaxing your upper body: first your face, then your neck, and then your shoulders.
- Continue relaxing your muscles and releasing tension in a flow-like pattern throughout your body: chest and abdomen, hips, lower back, legs, and all the way through your toes.
This can take a little practice as you try to visualise this flow-like release. But it also helps prevent distractions from crowding your mind, making it easier to fall asleep faster.
Avoid Sleeping In
One of the single best things you can do to invest in quality sleep is to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even if you wake up in the middle of the night. This means going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time every morning. You might be a little tired in the morning if you miss out on some sleep, but this will also help you fall asleep faster and possibly sleep a little deeper the following night.
Create a Comfortable Bed
It’s easy to fall asleep when you love your bed. Made to measure bedding can be very accommodating for a good night’s sleep—one that feels like you’re being hugged and snuggled all night long.
If you wake a lot in the middle of the night, consider changing your bedding setup. Invest in breathable bed sheets that keep your body at the perfect temperature. Soft fabrics like organic cotton make you feel like you’re sleeping on your own personal cloud. And bedding that stays put all night, such as tailored bed sheets, mean a hassle-free sleep and a better, brighter morning.
Sleep starts with high quality bedding and a bed that's as inviting as a warm embrace. For more tips for a better night’s sleep, head back to the bedsmade blog.