Sometimes, waking up in the middle of a good night's sleep is unavoidable. Whether it's a nature call or some sort of noise distraction that makes your bowl your eyes out, it is definitely frustrating. AND well, it might also disrupt your body's sleep-wake cycle.
But while most of us experience mini-awakenings during the night, some people find it harder to get back to sleep and continue snoozing. So, we've gathered some tips to help you minimize the amount of time you spend wandering off your mind and instead help you get back to dreamland!
Don't check your phone!
What is more of a greater distraction than browsing your Facebook newsfeed or TikTok page, then realizing the sunshine has finally hit your face? We've all been there - 5 minutes that turned into hours without noticing? And the next thing you know, time passed, and you haven't accomplished anything!
But... aside from social media is engineered to get you hooked to staying on your phone, blue light that comes from devices literally and naturally keeps you awake. It may also increase your desire to check your emails, finances, and other work stuff - all of which require more brain activity that awakens your cognitive function, making it harder to fall back asleep. Not to mention that it may be a source of stress and worry!
PS. Not checking on your phone is also similar to avoiding any forms of blue light. If you are in a room with bright lights, consider putting on dim lights or turning them entirely off.
Stay on your bed
The urge to go off from bed or do other things to distract yourself from the frustration of interrupted sleep may be high, but it may not be the best idea to sway around or make unnecessary moves. Our bodies pick up signals, and standing up or moving from the comfort of the bed may indicate that it is time to prepare for the day, which is obviously not.
Avoid grabbing a snack or drinking
Most often than not, the nighttime snacks we choose are high in sugar and fat, which both create endorphins and keep some people awake. An article mentioned that late-night eating has been linked to several health concerns, from weight gain to severe acid reflux. Meanwhile, about 1 out of 100 people developed Night eating syndrome (NES), which is an eating disorder that comes with sleep interruption.
Don't stare at the clock
Staring at the clock makes most people anxious. Timing how long you've been trying hard to get back to sleep is also stressful. Dr. Bhanu Kolla, an addiction psychiatrist and sleep medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic, said that staring at the clock makes you determine how much time you have left to sleep and worry about whether you will fall back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time, make the process of returning to sleep more difficult.
Relax your mind and body
There are many relaxation techniques, meditation guides, and stress-reduction tips to help you calm your mind and body, depending on what you need. The bottom line is, you have to be put in a state of winding down and comfort. It is also important you avoid cluttering your mind with unwanted thoughts to allow you to stress less and drift off quicker!
Here are some ways to help you more:
- Listen to a lullaby or slow music
- Do a deep breathing exercise
- Relax your muscles and loosen up
- Focus on positive thoughts
- Cozy up
After 20 minutes of trying to get back to sleep in your room but still ending up feeling more awake, experts advise to go up and move to a different place or bedroom. Doing boring activities that make you feel drowsy will also help to put your mind and body in a sleepy state. Remember that your bedroom is best to only be associated with sleep stuff so as not to confuse your mind (whether it is time for work or rest).
There are many reasons why people find it hard to fall asleep fast or get back to sleep during an interrupted one. And many of us experience this, especially on extra busy days! But if you find yourself in an extremely bad pattern that disrupts your everyday activities, it is best to consult a professional.