Science says we need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be considered healthy sleepers. Well, what happens if you can’t sleep? What if you have insomnia? What if you just find yourself feeling restless at night? What if you’re a night owl? Regardless of your reasons for not sleeping, you still need sleep. I always thought I just didn’t need as much sleep as other people, but it turns out that I do. Just because your body is used to not sleeping enough doesn’t make it healthy.
If you’re lying awake in bed or waking up in the middle of the night, here are some things you didn’t know would help:
Don’t Stay In Bed
I know this sounds ridiculous, but your bed is for one thing: sleeping. If you lie awake in bed, your body and brain will recognize this space as a place for you to chill. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and go sit in another room. Go read for 15-20 minutes or just sit on the couch. This will typically make you tired.
Cool Your Room Down
You don’t want to feel like you’re sleeping in an igloo, but having an environment that’s too hot can lead to sleep issues or restless sleep.
Don’t Turn On Your Electronics
This is a major one! You shouldn’t use electronics at least 30 minutes before bed anyway, but if you can’t sleep, do not grab your phone or computer. Don’t turn on the TV. The glow of a screen is going to make falling asleep that much more difficult for you.
Related Article: Six Really Shocking Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep
Fill Out A Sleep Diary
Recording your sleep is a great way to track what’s going on. If you’re not sleeping, consider filling out a sleep diary so you can work on spotting a pattern or pinpoint the actual issue of your lack of sleep.
See A Doctor
If you have a good bedtime routine, avoid electronics, follow correct sleeping techniques, and you’re still not sleeping, it’s time to see a doctor. Talk to your physician, therapist, or see a sleep specialist so you can figure out why you’re not sleeping and find a solution.
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