Many of us have been unable to get back to sleep in the middle of the night and it’s no fun.
Sometimes interrupted sleep may be caused by health issues -sleep apnea, acid reflux, chronic pain. But if you don’t have an underlying health concern, try one of these ideas to help you get the sleep you need.
5 Tips To Get Back To Sleep
1. Ignore the Clock
Resist the urge to look at the clock because it’s the easiest way to become anxious about the lack of sleep you’re getting. Once you’ve set your alarm, turn your clock away from you so you can’t see it.
No checking your phone for the time either because the next thing you know you’ll be scrolling through social posts.
2. Keep A Notebook By Your Bed
Sometimes your best problem solving comes in the middle of the night. If you suddenly wake up at 3:30 am and have a solution to something that’s bothering you jot it down. It allows you to stop thinking about it (and hoping you’ll remember it) and when you find that note in the morning you’ll be delighted to have a solution.
Some people find that reading a chapter or two in the middle of the night, relaxes them enough to get back to sleep. But no thrillers or horror stories because you don’t need to give yourself something else to worry about. Go old school with the book and avoid screens because they can interfere with your ability to get back to sleep.
If you do want to read or write down thoughts in the middle of the night, invest in a book light rather than using your lamp or overhead light. It will help signal your body that it’s not quite time to get up yet.
4. Relax Your Mind and Body
Quieting the body and mind is often a problem in the middle of the night. You wake up and your mind is ready to start thinking, planning or worrying. Find peace and calm by slowing your breathing and relaxing your body.
First, take deep, slow breaths in and out. Keep your mind thinking about your breathing and if you find it’s trying to think of other things bring it back to your breaths.
Once your breathing is steady it’s time to focus on relaxing your body one part at a time. Think about that body party and fully relaxing it. Then move on to the next one.
Again if your mind wants to race off to something else bring it back and stay focused on relaxing. It may take a bit of practice but the more you push yourself to relax the more you’ll find you can do it.
5. Too Hot/Too Cold
The temperature of the room can prevent you from staying asleep. Recommended temperatures are between 65 and 72 degrees. But it really depends on your own internal thermostat.
Experiment with bed linens, sleepwear, and room temperature to find out what combination gives you the best night’s sleep, and you may need to modify it with the change of the seasons.
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Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.