How to Fall Back to Sleep When You Wake Up at 2 A.M.
No more tossing and turning
You did everything right to set yourself up for a solid night of slumber: powered off your phone early, dutifully drank your cherry juice, dimmed the lights. Falling asleep is not the problem. It’s staying asleep through the night that’s the challenge. Here, 11 tricks to try the next time you wake up in the middle of the night.
Jot Down Your Thoughts
You wake up to pee—and stay up to think about everything you have to do the next day. Keep a notebook by your bed and the next time this happens, take a minute to organize your thoughts by writing them down. It'll clear your head of any anxieties and help you slow back down.
Listen to a Book on Tape
But stick to something you’ve already read. You want a distraction, not something that’s going to actually keep your interest.
Or Try ASMR
Aka Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which is basically the use of pleasant sounds (like soft whispers or light tapping) to lull you back to sleep. The next time you’re feeling restless, you can find one of thousands of ASMR videos online. (This is the only time you should break the no-screens-at-night rule.)
Lower Your Thermostat
Make sure it’s set between 65 and 68 degrees. According to science, that’s the sweet spot for falling (and staying) into a deep sleep.
Count Your Breaths
Instead of sheep (which are honestly easy to lose track of), count your breaths in sets of three (“1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3…”). You’ll be out before you know it.
Dab Lavender Oil on Your Pillow
Studies have shown that the plant’s scent slows down your heart rate and puts you in a relaxed state.
Place a Pillow Under Your Knees
This helps relieve lower back pressure and relaxes your muscles so you can drift off faster.
Mist Your Face
Woke up in a cold sweat? Keep a bottle of face mist on your nightstand so you can spritz yourself and cool down quickly.
Visualize Your Childhood Home
Imagine every single detail—from the jacquard wallpaper in your living room to the family photo hanging over your fireplace. When you’re not thinking about the stresses of the day, you’ll get drowsy faster.
Put Your Clock Face Down
Seeing the time pass will only increase your anxiety about being awake.
Take a Seat
If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, get up and sit in a nearby chair. Sometimes a little change in environment is all you need to feel relaxed again. As soon as you start to feel drowsy, climb back into your bed.