Banish Those Sleepless Nights the Natural Way - 11 Things to Do When Sleep Refuses to Come

Insomnia is a serious problem, and an all too common one. If you suffer from sleep disturbances, sleepless nights, wake up in the middle of the night or simply have trouble getting to sleep, you know how difficult and disruptive this issue can be.

When sleep simply refuses to come, you do not have to take the problem lying down. Lying in the dark waiting for sleep to come can be counterproductive, actually increasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. So instead of lying there in frustration, get up and do something productive. Here are 10 strategies for fighting back against insomnia.

1. Take a walk around the block, or around the house. A little bit of exercise can soothe your body and help you fall asleep more quickly.

2. Head to the backyard and look at the stars. You are up in the middle of the night, so take advantage of it and do some stargazing. The beauty of nature has a way of calming your brain and encouraging healthful sleep.

3. Read a book. If you have been wanting to catch up on your reading list, now is the time to do it. Reading has a hypnotic effect, and it could help you fall asleep more quickly.

4. Have a (non-caffeinated) drink. A soothing cup of tea or a nice glass of wine could be just what you need during those sleepless nights.

5. Soak in a warm tub. There is nothing like a piping hot bath to soothe your aching muscles and help you fall asleep.

6. Try not to fall asleep. Sometimes the best way to fall asleep is to try not to. Instead of worrying about falling asleep, lie in bed and try to stay awake. You might find yourself falling asleep more quickly than you ever imagined.

7. Ramp up the comfort. If you are having trouble getting back to sleep, look for ways to make your sleeping nest more comfortable. That could mean turning the temperature up (or down), adding a soft blanket or getting out your favourite comforter.

8. Do some meditation. You do not have to be a yogi to benefit from meditation. Clearing your mind can help sleep come more quickly, and allow you to fall asleep again quickly.

9. Lock up your screens. It is tempting to check your phone when you wake up in the middle of the night, but succumbing to that temptation could make it harder to get back to sleep.  

10. Do something boring. If you want to fall asleep, think of the most boring activity you can do, then go do it. Nothing sparks sleep quite like boredom, so do some paperwork, read a bad book or do something equally mind numbing.

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It can be frustrating when sleep does not come easily, and even more difficult when you do get to sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night. If you find your sleep interrupted, your number one goal is to get back to bed, so use the 11 techniques listed above to get more z's and live a healthier life.