10 Things to Do When You Can't Sleep

10 Things to Do When You Can't Sleep

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Last Updated on May 10, 2023

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    Does your nightly routine involve tossing and turning until sleep finally engulfs you? Or maybe it is staring at the ceiling, wondering why can't I sleep. Well, if sleep eludes you and groggy mornings are almost inevitable then we bring you easy-peasy tips you can follow when you cannot drift into an effortless abyss of sleep. So, what are these tips? What to do when you can't sleep? Just keep reading to know!

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    Key Elements to Cultivate Relaxation

    To lose yourself in sleep, relaxing your mind is crucial. And relaxation has been the sole focus of myriad cultures and spiritual journeys, where meditation has always helped achieve this state. A few key elements borrowed from meditation practices ensure you cultivate a calm mind. These key elements are;

    A peaceful Environment

    When your environment cannot fetch you the tranquility you need, it can feel chaotic. So, designing a peaceful environment is vital. Ensure your surroundings make you feel good and are devoid of noise. Now, you can always opt for some soothing music if that helps. 

    A focus of attention

    Our mind is constantly thinking. That’s what it does. So, to relax, you need to ensure your mind stops thinking about any external issues and just focus. You can say a mantra, visualize, or use a breathing pattern to do this. 

    A passive persona

    Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Even if your mind wanders, make sure you pull its focus back. Don’t worry about it. 

    A relaxing position

    Find a comfortable position. You can sit and even lie down if it helps. If you are relaxing to fall asleep faster, get into your sleeping position. 

    A relaxing sleeping environment

    Your mattress and pillow must provide the utmost comfort to ensure you can easily relax and drift into a peaceful sleep.

    Relaxation Techniques for Sleeping

    Once you are ready and comfortable, you can use any of the below relaxation techniques to induce sleep! 

    Controlled Breathing

    Controlled breathing is following a pattern to ensure it brings you complete relaxation. 

    Why Controlled Breathing Works

    When you take deep slow breaths, it fills you with calmness. It is also known as pranayam breathing and is an excellent way to combat any stress. 

    How to Do It

    • Take a deep breath through your nose
    • Gently exhale through your mouth 
    • You can keep counting each breath or a complete cycle of the breathing work you do

    This method is best for individuals just starting with relaxation techniques. It doesn’t take too much effort and is also helpful if you have a restless mind. 

    Meditation and Mindfulness

    Meditation and mindfulness help you recenter your mind and focus on the present. It can help keep away any restless thoughts and stress. 

    Why Meditation Works

    When you practice mindfulness, you can live in the moment, without having to worry about what comes next. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety and even help combat insomnia

    How to Do It

    While there are a variety of mindfulness practices out there, the easiest one is the body scan method. 

    • Inhale and exhale slowly while laying in a comfortable position
    • Now, start from your legs and start noticing any sensations in your legs and feet
    • Continue to scan each part of the body 
    • Focus on your body scan, stay present, and only observe
    • Once you are done, take a moment and reflect while allowing yourself to relax fully 

    Who It's Great For

    Mindful meditation is for everyone. However, it is best for someone who can devote at least five minutes daily to the same and gradually increase the time. 

    Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    This technique helps you relax your muscles fully and enjoy a good night’s rest. 

    Why Progressive Muscle Relaxation Works

    Progressive muscle relaxation is when you tighten and relax your muscles while controlling your breathing. 

    How to Do It

    • First, lie down and close your eyes
    • Slowly breathe in and out 
    • Now, start with your face and tense the muscles for 10 seconds, and then release
    • Do it to the rest of the body parts, such as shoulders, stomach, arms, legs, and buttocks
    • Make sure you skip the area if you have any pain

    Who It's Great For

    According to studies, PMR can benefit people suffering from insomnia and can also help people suffering from arthritis. So, what to do if you can't sleep? Try PMR! 

    Imagery

    Imagery means visualization when you use mental images to promote relaxation. 

    Why Imagery Works

    You must always visualize something peaceful and something that can make you happy, so you can completely relax. If you lay in bed for hours and can't sleep, try this out. 

    How to Do It

    • Lie down in a comfortable position 
    • Close your eyes 
    • Think about your happy place while you slowly take deep breaths 
    • You can start adding details to your imagery, such as smell, sound, and feel

    Who It's Great For

    Visualization can be beneficial for everyone. If you cannot imagine your happy place as you start, be patient, it may take some time.

    Other Tips to Help Fall Asleep Quickly

    Wondering what to do when you can't sleep at night apart from the above techniques? Take a look at the below six techniques when you can't sleep. 

    Reading a Book

    Reading a Book

    Wondering what to do when I can't sleep? Don’t waste your time simply lying on the bed. Instead, move out of your room and try reading a book. If you are using your electronics to read, use night mode to avoid the blue light as it can disrupt your sleep more. 

    Keep a journal

    Keep a journal

    If stress makes it difficult to fall asleep, try keeping a journal. It can help you empty your mind and relax. In fact, a study showed that people who wrote in their journals before bed could relieve any mental distress. 

    Use Some Essential oils

    Essential oils

    Essential oils, such as lavender, can be exceptionally beneficial in inducing sleep. So, one of the things to do when you can't sleep is use wondrous oils. You can use a diffuser or even add a few drops to the pillowcase.

    Drink Herbal Tea or Warm Milk

    Drink Herbal Tea or Warm Milk

    Making a cup of tea or warm turmeric milk for yourself can be a relaxing chore. Also, herbal tea, such as chamomile can help you sleep as they have a mild tranquil effect. And, warm milk consists of casein tryptic hydrolysate (CTH). This compound can reduce any stress and help you fall asleep. 

    Perform light stretches

    Perform light stretches

    Light stretches can reduce any tension in your body and always take your mind off any stress. However, ensure you don’t partake in vigorous exercise as it can make you feel alert. 

    Avoid Scrolling Through Your Phone 

    Avoid Scrolling Through Your Phone

    Remember, if you can't fall asleep, don’t scroll through your phone. The blue light from your mobile phone can alert you and not sleepy! 

    Sleep is crucial for your overall health. Therefore, you can use the above-mentioned tips to help you out. If nothing works, don’t neglect it and speak with your healthcare practitioner.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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