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10 Ways to Help You Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up in the Night

By Krista

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Last Updated: February 17, 2022

In an ideal world, we’d go to bed at our chosen bed time and fall asleep fast, with little-to-no effort or tossing and turning. Yet, unfortunately, this is not always the case. 

About 30 to 48% of adults suffer from insomnia. And this doesn’t include individuals who might simply have difficulty falling asleep or might wake up multiple times during the night. Sleep problems are all-too-real for many of us!

The next day, you might end up feeling drained of energy, unproductive, and moody. Sleep deprivation can definitely throw a wrench into your day — and your life! 

So, why do you wake up and have difficulty going back to sleep? And what can you do about it? In this article, we outline why this might be happening, as well as provide 10 ways to fall asleep after waking up.

 

Why Do I Wake Up at Night and Can’t Go Back to Sleep?

When it comes to finding the ultimate solution to your sleep problems, it pays to uncover the cause. Once you determine this, you can then come up with viable options to fix the root of  the problem. So, why are you waking up?

1. Your Sleep Patterns Are Off

Basically, this means you haven’t been going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, leading to mass confusion when it comes to your circadian rhythm

Your body likes to work in rhythms! In fact, regarding your sleep-wake cycle, it thrives off sun and darkness. In the morning, when the sun comes up, you’re more likely to feel awake. When darkness settles in, you’re more likely to feel tired. 

This is why most sleep experts recommend going to bed no later than 10 pm. After dark, your body starts to prepare for sleep by suppressing hormones that make you feel alert and stimulating ones that make you feel sleepy, like melatonin. 

But… If you push through this time, your body actually ends up releasing cortisol, since darkness is a stressor. This is often where you’ll get that “second-wind” and end up staying up until all hours of the morning.

The bottom line here? Get on a regular sleep schedule and stick to it! You’ll feel that much better and sleep that much better.

2. Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety and depression can increase stress and cortisol in the body. This can make it difficult to fall asleep fast, as well as stay asleep. 

If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, seek out the help you need and find coping strategies that help you overcome these mental hurdles so that you can live your best life (and get some much needed rest!).

Related Article: 5 Awesome Benefits of Light Therapy Lamps & Can They Help Depression?

 

3. Hormonal Imbalances & Blood Sugar Levels

Our hormones naturally fluctuate throughout our days. For women, hormones fluctuate throughout the month. However, healthy hormonal fluctuations shouldn’t be getting in the way of you obtaining a good night’s rest.

It might help to get hormonal testing done, or start monitoring your blood sugar levels. Hormonal imbalances can actually impact your blood sugar levels. For instance, high stress can raise cortisol, which lowers blood sugar levels.

When your blood sugar levels drop, you might wake up, since your body is urging you to eat something to bring them back to stable levels.

Related Article: 5 Annoying & Frequent Food Cravings: What is Your Body Trying to Tell You?

 

4. Other Medical Issues

If none of the above apply, your sleep issues might relate to other medical issues, such as sleep apnea, a sleep disorder, thyroid dysfunction, and more. Individuals with injury or pain issues might also find it difficult to sleep or find they wake up frequently due to their ongoing pain or discomforts.

 

How Do You Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up?

Here are a few strategies and tips for falling asleep:

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  2. Eliminate bright lights and sounds in your sleeping area.
  3. If you can’t sleep, get up and out of bed! One of the best things you can do is find a monotonous or relaxing task (like tidying up that bookshelf or reading a book) to do outside of bed and then try again when you feel sleepy.
  4. Don’t use your phone.
  5. Practice deep breathing.
  6. Try a falling asleep meditation.
  7. Put white noise on in the background.
  8. Focus on relaxing your entire body and releasing tense muscles through progressive relaxation
  9. Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This is where you inhale for the count of 4, pause for 7, and exhale for the count of 8. Repeat until you feel more relaxed and sleepy.
  10. Eat a snack if you feel hungry. This can help rebalance your blood sugar levels, lower cortisol, and help you get back to sleep. Go for a bit of protein and carbs for a nice balanced meal.

If you’re still struggling with sleep, you could also discuss with your doctor whether or not a sleep study is right for you.

A sleep study involves staying overnight at a hospital or clinic, where they monitor your sleep habits and cycle. This can help your doctor determine if something else is going on, such as a sleep disorder. 

 

When You Get Your Sleep On Track Everything Else Improves!

Sleep is essential for your overall physical and mental health.

If you’ve ever had a bad night, you’ll know exactly what it’s like to try to function your best without adequate sleep (it’s really, really tough!). Find ways to fall asleep fast that work for you. Once you nail these down, you’ll be able to show up in all aspects of your life as the best version of you!

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Read Next: 18 Tips For Better Sleep At Night

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

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3 comments on “10 Ways to Help You Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up in the Night”

  1. I'm beginning to apply the recommended techniques for healthy night rest,and I find them working well. Thanks.

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