How To Fall Back Asleep After Waking In The Night

We all have the occasional night when our sleep is interrupted. We wake up, and try as we might, we can’t fall back asleep. It happens to everyone.
However, if you get to the end of the day and fall asleep easily then find yourself bright-eyed in bed a few hours later, you could be suffering sleep maintenance insomnia (SMI). SMI is defined as difficulty staying asleep or waking too early and struggling to get back to sleep, and it's one of the most frustrating sleep habits going around. 

Whether you can get back to sleep eventually or not, you'll probably spend the next day exhausted, craving a coffee as big as your head, and worried that you’re in for a repeat performance. Stop the sleepless cycle with these tips for easing falling back asleep.


1. Put Your Phone Away

When you wake up in the middle of the night, resist the urge to start an Instagram scroll, check for work emails or hop on Facebook. Multiple studies indicate that the blue light emitted by electronics interferes with sleep. If your computer, iPad, or phone is a bedtime staple you can’t do without, make sure to at least dim the screen down at night. This may help you stay asleep until morning.

2. One, two, three, sleep! ... Not

If waking up in the middle of the night feels a lot like your brain having a mind of its own, you’re right. According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is the inability of the brain to stop being awake. Wondering how to fall back asleep? Don’t just lie there, do something soothing! Try deep breathing, relaxation exercises, or soothing music. If you have a snoring partner, place a white noise machine on your side of the bed. And never, ever, have an alarm clock facing you while you’re trying to sleep!

3. Bore Yourself Sleepy

If you can’t fall back asleep for 20 minutes or more, try reciting poems you memorized as a kid, the multiplication times table, or movie scenes from your favorite films. You can even sing songs to yourself, in your head. If this sounds a little bit like counting sheep, it’s because the principle behind it is the same. Repetition can be soothing, allowing your brain to relax, slowly gentling you back into sleep.

4. Eliminate Your Nightcap

A small amount of alcohol is could be quite nice to relax, but if you drink a little bit too much it tends to fragment sleep a lot more -  and that has to do with how it reacts with neuron chemicals in the brain.

There is no doubt heavy drinkers have fragmented sleep, and if your sleep is fragmented you are likely to wake more. Let's not forget too much alcohol is a lot of bladder filling as well which obviously affects sleep and disturbs sleep!

5. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Use your body to relax your brain and reduce stress, by using this meditation-based technique: Work on one muscle group at a time, starting with your feet going up towards your head. Gently tense your muscles, count to five, and slowly let them relax. Do one extremity at a time, and make sure to keep breathing deeply during each contraction. Pay special attention to areas of your body which hold the most stress, such as your jaw, or neck. 


If you wake up in the middle of the night, you can also try getting out of bed to take the pressure off. There are the obvious answers, like reading a book to relax your mind without technology. Stretching and exercising can also help. Warm tea and magnesium have also shown positive results. We have also recently created a kit especially for those of you who keep waking up in the middle of the night. You can find it here!  


Most importantly, be kind to yourself. If you continue to wake up in the middle of the night, speak with your doctor about possible causes.

Tags: Wellness