Have a guest room? Don’t Look At Your Phone (Or Any Other Electronic Device), Don’t Drink Caffeine For Hours Before Bed, Don’t Keep The Bedroom Temperature Too Warm, Don’t Go To Sleep At Different Times Every Night. As tempting as it may be to reach for your phone or Kindle when you can’t sleep it’s the last thing you should be doing, according to several sleep experts. Being unable to fall asleep can be due to many reasons from having a lot on your mind to having a sleep disorder. As mentioned above, several sleep experts are against the idea of looking at your phone or any kind of electronic devices when you cannot sleep — and for good reason. But to be able to doze off as quickly as possible, there are a number of things you should never do when you can't sleep, as they could end up making you feel more awake. Get out of bed. Along the same lines, below, sleep experts weigh in on what NOT to do when you can’t sleep, so the next time you are tossing and turning, keep them in mind. The light actually fools your body into thinking it's not bedtime. 12:58am: The neighbour’s dog barks, waking me up. If you answered mostly: As: You have symptoms of sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder which causes you to stop breathing repeatedly, often hundreds of times in the night during your sleep. “These symptoms can be associated with undiagnosed sleep apnea, which can cause waking up at night. Scientists in one study found distinct correlations between habitual short sleep (not getting enough sleep on a regular basis) and increased BMI, concluding that chronic sleep restriction may be a contributing factor to obesity. However, you should avoid taking naps late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Bedroom environment is also important, as it needs to be quiet enough, cool enough, and dark enough to sleep.". It’s a therapeutic way to address what might be troubling you and chronicle your day before drifting to … "If a person has obtained adequate sleep, [they] will feel alert and in a good mood shortly after arising.". It might sound obvious but bright lights do keep you up, our bodies are biologically sensitive to natural daylight, this is called a circadian rhythm. 1:06am: Great. “Although alcohol may help you fall asleep, it will actually disrupt deep sleep and wake your earlier than you want,” Dr. Kansagra says. (No screens allowed.) This is tricky, but it’s important. When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel fatigued. “Checking the clock, calculating how much time you have until you have to wake, thinking about the upcoming day, etc., will increase your cognitive arousal and make it that much more difficult to fall asleep,” she says. 2. Exercise. Part of any good routine is maintaining it, and this includes what time you go to sleep and what time you wake up. “Using some form of distraction when you are awake at night prevents you from doing the sort of ‘brain download’ that most of us would do in the middle of the night (mentally clicking through your to-do list, rehashing an event at work, doing some problem-solving about a situation in your life, and so on),” Dr. Schneeberg says. Distract yourself with relaxing thoughts. Pretend to Be Tired. Dr. Edelson also suggests making sure your bedroom is a restful environment — which includes having it fully dark and free of sound, and wearing an eye mask and earplugs if need be. Watch What You Eat and Drink 6. Whatever the situation may be, you don’t need to suffer any longer. If you have trouble falling asleep, it's best to train your body to wind down and relax with a pre-sleep routine each night. By minimizing the amount of time you spend in bed awake, you’re teaching your brain to associate your bed with sleep. "Do not fall asleep on the couch," says Belmonte. Also, avoid spicy foods or foods that you know may upset your stomach. If you have had a prolonged period of not getting enough sleep, you may even be suffering from an underlying sleep disorder. We've all had those nights where falling asleep seems impossible, no matter how hard we try. Trick your brain into thinking you’re exhausted by, well, pretending you are. "You can get out of bed go into another room for 30-60 minutes but if you are sleepy go back to your bed to sleep. Wait until you’re sleepy. If you can’t sleep after a fight with your partner, getting anger off your chest may sound like an effective plan, but it can make the situation worse. "Do not turn on the lights to read, as light reduces the amount of melatonin your produce," says Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of The Sleep to Live Institute, over email. Relaxation techniques, herbal remedies, or aromatherapy can help you get better sleep. If you’re lying awake, she says you must get out of bed versus lie there endlessly — since you want to condition yourself to associate positive sleep time with your bed, not negative awake time. 2020 Bustle Digital Group. The longer you stay awake, the more you panic. Why you can't get a restful night, and what to do about it. Try to eat a light dinner at least four hours before bedtime. Concentrate on the kinds of things you would feel if you … The satisfaction of checking an item off your list can help bring on a sense of calm. Having an unfinished project lurking in the recesses of your mind can cause stress. Stay In Bed More Than 20 Minutes. Many products seek to provide immediate relief of difficulty sleeping, but unfortunately, few can deliver on their promises. Why you can't get a restful night, and what to do about it. You may hear that exercise and staying active can help promote sleep, but not immediately before sleep and definitely not while you’re lying awake with insomnia. If you are feeling so tired but can't sleep, establish a good sleeping position. Although it may make you feel a little sleepier, alcohol decreases the quality and quantity of your sleep. Use a sleeping mask. Some people try counting sheep while others just toss and turn until the sheer exhaustion kicks in. When you can’t fall asleep, you have two different options: staying in bed to rest up as much as you can, or break the cycle by getting up. 16. “Don’t forget to empty your bladder, as a full bladder can also be stimulating, and keep you awake,” he says. While there's no magic sleep-inducing food, some foods are better than others if you're having trouble sleeping. Dr. Davis says not to eat and what time you spend in bed awake since this ‘position’ stays associated undiagnosed. 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