What To Do When You Can’t Sleep: 7 Things To Try
5 min read
Are you reading this hours past your bedtime in bleary-eyed despair? If so, you’re probably not alone. Chronic insomnia plagues over 70 million Americans.
There are over 80 different sleep disorders, so finding a solution to your sleep woes may be overwhelming. Before you schedule a doctor’s appointment, you may want to identify if this is a chronic problem or something that making a few lifestyle changes can help fix. Whether your sleep problems are persistent or situational, we’ll go over some tips and tricks to help you get the good night’s rest you deserve.
How Much Sleep Do You Need Each Night?
If you struggle with falling asleep, you have probably found yourself doing mental calculations over and over, trying to determine if you’ll get enough sleep that night. The typical number in your mind is likely eight hours of sleep per night in order to feel well-rested. But is that true?
Here are the nightly sleep recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control:
For adults, the current recommendation is between 7-9 hours per night.
For teens, the recommendation increases to 8-10 hours per night.
For school-age children, the recommendation is 9-12 hours.
Your younger children and babies will need even more sleep than that, of course. If you’re hitting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night but still have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may have a sleep quality problem, not a sleep quantity problem.
What To Do During the Day When You Can’t Sleep at Night
Believe it or not, the path to a good night’s sleep begins bright and early each morning. There are quite a few steps to take throughout the day to ensure your body and brain are ready for rest by bedtime.
Pick a Time and Stick With It
Set a sleep and wake schedule and stick with it. Do you need to wake up by six each morning? Count backward from that to determine what time you need to go to bed. By setting a schedule, you’re helping your body find a rhythm that will lead to a night of better sleep.
Get Some Sunshine
While you may be more into a slow, lazy wake-up time with your blinds closed and your sleep mask on, this isn’t the best way to get your day off to a good start. Instead, try to find some sunlight as soon as you wake up.
This will help your brain wake up, and your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock) stay consistent. If it’s still dark out when you wake up, the light in your room or a sunlamp will work as well.
Start the Day With Exercise
Physical activity is another fantastic way to wake up your body and get you ready to face the day. It also helps you have improved sleep each night. Regular exercise any time you’re able is ultimately good for your health, but if you’re facing sleep troubles, try shifting your workout time to the morning or earlier in the day. If you exercise too close to bedtime, it could cause you to have trouble sleeping.
Invest in Your Sleep Set Up
According to NIH, you’re going to spend approximately a third of your life in bed, so you might as well make sure it’s as comfortable as possible!
Pick out high-quality sheets, a nice comforter, and any other high-quality bedding you need. Add a white noise machine if you dislike the silence or outside noise. Make your space your own and say goodbye to poor sleep.
If you’re too hot at night and that’s keeping you awake, you can invest in thermoregulating products to keep you at your ideal temperature, all night long. Our Miracle Made Sheet Set is infused with silver, which has those natural thermoregulating properties you need.
To go the extra mile, pair those sheets with our Miracle Made Comforter, which combines luxurious Supima cotton with that same natural silver that’ll keep you cool at night (and that’s not even mentioning the hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial properties).
Stop waking up in the middle of the night with all your bedding thrown on the floor, and start sleeping through the night.
What To Do During the Evening When You Can’t Sleep at Night
If you have a solid morning routine but are still wide awake each night, it’s time to take a look at how you spend your time in the evening. Getting better sleep may mean sacrificing some activities you find entertaining at night, like television, social media, or even alcohol, but these changes are worth it to help you get the sleep you truly need.
Avoid Naps Late in the Day
Getting caught in the evening nap cycle can be a tricky place to be; it’s important to snap out of it. If you want to improve your sleep and stop waking up in the middle of the night, avoiding naps after work can be a massive game-changer for your sleep schedule.
Instead of napping, try taking a short walk, cooking a meal, or calling a loved one on the phone for a chat.
Change Your Sleep Environment
Is your bedroom overly messy and cluttered? Believe it or not, this could be causing some of your sleep problems! Taking steps to improve your sleep environment can work wonders in improving your sleep habits.
Cleaning is a great start, but a few other factors may play into your sleep environment:
Your room temperature: can impact your body temperature.
Your lights: including nightlights, light from your windows, or lights from electronic devices. Make sure you don’t have any bright light in your room at night.
Your bed: it may be too soft or even too firm.
Your pillow: the type of pillow you use can make a difference in how you sleep. Be sure to get a pillow that is made for the type of sleeper you are (back, stomach, or side).
Set a Sleep Routine
In the same way a morning routine will help your body realize it’s time to get up, a sleep routine will help your body know it’s time to go to bed. Routines are essential for both your physical and mental health, and they can help you wake up the next day more rested.
Your sleep routine will be unique once you figure out what works for you, but we have a few suggestions:
Stop scrolling. Set a specific time each night to stop scrolling and put away your phone. Your brain should stop seeing blue light before bed in order to prepare for sleep.
Pick up a good book. If your brain needs extra time to relax, replace scrolling your phone with reading a book. Of course, if you can’t put a good book down once you’ve started it, maybe skip this step for now!
Journal about your day. Getting your thoughts on paper before you fall asleep is a great way to reduce your anxiety and give you a night of quality sleep.
Practice mindfulness, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques.
Each of these sleep tips can get you closer to a good night’s sleep!
Still Having Trouble Sleeping?
Once you’ve put all of these good habits to the test, if you find you’re still having trouble sleeping, it may be time to see a sleep specialist. A healthcare provider can help you determine if something deeper is wrong. For example, they may recommend a sleep apnea test or an over-the-counter sleep aid. Some may also point you toward natural solutions to sleep medicine.
Fixing your sleep cycle is a critical part of improving your overall health, so don’t put off finding the solution that works for you.
Common Sleep Disorders | Symptoms, Causes & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
How Much Sleep Do I Need? | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How Much Time Do We Spend Sleeping | NIH
How Much Sleep Do I Need? | CDC