Tips&TricksBattling midnight awakenings? Here are smart tips to regulate your sleep without medication

Battling midnight awakenings? Here are smart tips to regulate your sleep without medication

Sleep problems can easily be solved.
Sleep problems can easily be solved.
Images source: © Freepik

1:21 PM EST, December 14, 2023

Nothing is more exhausting than lying awake, staring at the ceiling, especially when feeling tired and knowing the next day is full of responsibilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that up to 17 percent of us experience sleep problems, which can impact our health and our ability to function during the day. There are ways to regulate your internal clock without resorting to medication.

Addressing Sleep Problems

Start by identifying potential causes for your night-time awakenings - they don't just happen out of the blue. Stress, daily setbacks, environmental changes, and certain health conditions can all contribute to disturbed sleep. Sometimes insomnia is accompanied by disruptive ecological factors, such as noise or an uncomfortably high or low room temperature.

Sleep is essential for overall health, providing vital regeneration following a busy day and ensuring you feel good the next day. Often, when we wake up, our automatic reaction is to check the time on our phones. This can unfortunately cause further alertness, along with frustration at being awake. Moreover, the blue light emitted by smartphones can disrupt our sleep cycle.

Strategies to Improve Sleep

Different relaxation techniques can aid in getting back to sleep. These can include breathing exercises or muscle relaxation techniques. Convincing yourself that you are already asleep, or "programming" your own thoughts, can also be effective. For many people, a white noise machine proves very helpful for combating sleep problems.

To promote good sleep, consider removing all electronic devices from the bedroom, including your phone, to create a safe space dedicated solely to resting. Avoid using your phone, laptop, or TV just before bed, as they can disrupt your sleep cycle. It's better to spend the time before bedtime relaxing, perhaps reading a book - such changes can significantly affect the quality of your sleep.

Falling asleep after waking up in the middle of the night is a challenge.
Falling asleep after waking up in the middle of the night is a challenge.© Freepik

If you've tried these techniques and still find yourself waking during the night, consider low-stimulation activities. If you're awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed, leave the bedroom, and do something calming, like reading. The goal isn't just to read, but to make yourself tired enough to naturally fall asleep. Once you start to feel sleepy, return to your bedroom and go back to sleep.

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