Sleep problems arise for various reasons – a broken schedule, increased anxiety, uncomfortable conditions for rest. We’ve put together a few ways to help you cope with insomnia.
What to do when you can’t sleep and are bored at night
Get rid of all light sources
Even the slightest visual disturbance to your sleep can cause insomnia. Back in 2017, researcher Kenji Obayashi and his colleagues presented their scientific work in the American Journal of Epidemiology, proving that light negatively affects sleep quality. Interference can be one of the causes of depression, experts say. And in 2019, a team of scientists published the results of a study on the National Institutes of Health medical portal, according to which women who fall asleep under the TV can gain up to five kilograms a year.
To get quality and sound sleep, take care of the curtains in your bedroom. It is best to choose blackout models, consisting of dense fabric that does not transmit light rays and can shade the room by 90-100%. Flip your smartphone, or other gadgets face down so that a notification or call – even in silent mode – doesn’t disturb your sleep. You can use a sleep mask to ensure complete darkness. However, keep in mind that quickly getting used to it and falling asleep without it is almost impossible.
Adjust the air temperature
Scientists have long known that circadian rhythms affect sleep. This means that during a night’s rest, the temperature of the human body changes: closer to morning, it becomes lower and then begins to rise, warming up the body. This is why people with cold feet are more likely to experience sleep problems.
To get the most out of your sleep, you need to set the correct room temperature. According to experts, the optimal temperature for sleep is 15-19 degrees Celsius. To achieve it in the hot season, set up cooling on a split system or install a fan next to the bed before going to bed. In addition, the heater heats the air – to avoid uncomfortable sensations, get a humidifier. And if your bedroom, on the contrary, is cold, use more blankets.
Focus on breathing
When a person cannot sleep, this makes him even more nervous, and a whole swarm of not always necessary thoughts is born in his head. The main thing is to focus on your breathing in moments like this. Take deep breaths to relax your muscles, slow your heart rate, and make you more likely to fall asleep. For a more noticeable effect, start meditating before bed: when work on breathing becomes a habit, and your body gets used to the cycles of calm breathing, you will be able to fall asleep more easily.
Do some stretching
Stretching is another good habit of helping you sleep. It relaxes the body, relieves tension, and allows you to fall asleep much faster than usual. Some of the most common bedtime exercises are baby pose and wall stretching.
Think about what makes you happy
Imagine a situation or place that inspires you and makes you happy: the sea, mountains, a forest with magnificent scenery, or just being close to your loved one. Try a distraction technique to relax. Draw a pretty picture in your mind – you might even want to develop a plot with it. This will help you feel more peaceful and less anxiety and stress that prevents you from falling asleep.
Buy good pajamas
If your pajamas are made of synthetic fabric, then it’s worth considering: can you have insomnia because of it? This is quite possible because polyester does not allow air to pass through, which creates a greenhouse effect; you get too hot – and sleep is gone. To fix this, replace it with cotton or silk pajamas. The same applies to the sheets: natural and lightweight fabrics are comfortable to use and pleasant to the body.
Fool your brain
Quite a non-trivial but quite effective way to fall asleep as soon as possible. It is somewhere between meditation and fantasizing because you need complete relaxation. Imagine that you are insanely tired, close the curtains tightly, get rid of all light sources, lie on the bed and close your eyes. Pretend that you are already asleep. After a while, the brain will believe this deceptive maneuver, and you will finally be able to sleep peacefully.
Turn on the music
In advance, you can compose a playlist of “sleepy” songs: ballads, acoustic compositions, classics, and something slow. This will calm your mind and allow you to fall asleep quickly. If the music does not help you fall asleep, turn on the sounds of nature: the calm noise of the rain, the crackling of the lamp in the fireplace, the howling of a night blizzard outside the window, the splash of sea waves hitting the shore or the quiet trills of birds in the forest.
Dim the lights before bed and read a light book. It can be a love story in which everything develops without serious conflicts and dramas or a short story without an abundance of details. A pleasant book will be able to balance your psychological state, thanks to which you will fall asleep faster.
Put on warm socks before bed
Cozy socks can warm your feet, stimulate blood flow and regulate your body temperature because, as we noted, cold feet can be one of the causes of insomnia.
Do what you don’t like
The monotonous activity will let your brain know that you are so bored that you are ready to fall asleep. After a while, the mind will understand that it is better for you to sleep than to do something that does not arouse interest.