You did everything right: You skipped the afternoon latte, stepped away from your screens after dinner and settled into bed at a reasonable hour. But now it’s 2 a.m., you’re wide awake — and you feel like sleep is slipping farther out of reach with every passing minute. What do you do? What can help you learn how to fall back asleep — and fast?
Middle of the night wake-ups are a sign that you’re not getting the deep sleep you need. Disrupted sleep patterns can impact your health as well as your daily routine. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to help coax yourself back to dreamland.
Read on for seven simple tips to learn how to fall back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night.
1. If nature calls, answer it!
When you wake up because you have to use the bathroom, get up and go (but try not to turn on the light)! Figuring out how to fall back asleep is easier without a full bladder. If you wake up because you’re too hot or cold, quickly adjust the thermostat, covers or clothing.
2. Keep things as dark and quiet as possible.
When a noise — whether it’s a loud neighbor or overly playful cat — wakes you, find a way to tune it out. Put in earplugs, close a window or door or turn on a fan for some white noise. If light wakes you up, draw the curtains or put on a sleep mask. This tip will help remind your body it’s bedtime.
3. Stay analog, no matter what.
The number one tip for learning how to fall back asleep? Do not — under any circumstance — pick up your phone or turn on the TV. Try not to look at the clock either. The blue light from screens tells your brain it’s time to be awake, which will make sleep more elusive.
4. Relax your mind and body.
Some of the same techniques that helped you fall asleep can help you as you figure out how to fall back asleep. Try these 11 things to finally get a good night’s sleep! Meditation, deep breathing, tensing and releasing muscles and aromatherapy can all help.
5. Give yourself some help.
Reach for a fast-acting Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strip with Melatonin & Calm Down™ herbal blend. They pair melatonin with a proprietary combination of herbs. We start with Jujube Seed, which promotes deep, tranquil slumber by reducing irritability and mental distress as well as taming physical tension and restlessness. There’s also Poria Mushroom to support Jujube’s sedating action by gently calming the mind and nervous system. Get to know all the herbs and why we chose them.
Keep Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strips on your nightstand so you can easily reach for one. Allow it to melt on your tongue, then swallow and let yourself rest and fall back to sleep. Tomorrow night, make them part of your wind-down, sleep-through-the-night routine, but tonight use them as the cornerstone of your “how to fall back asleep” routine.*
6. Change your scenery.
If you’re still awake after half an hour, get up and do something boring and calming. Avoid screens, but try something like a puzzle, reading a book or journaling. Keep the lights as low as possible. Climb back into bed when you start to feel sleepy again.
7. Go easy on yourself.
Waking up in the middle of the night is frustrating — especially when you have a busy day ahead of you tomorrow. But beating yourself up over sleeplessness is not going to help. Be gentle with yourself, and try not to play the “if I fall asleep now, I can still get X hours of sleep” game. It’ll only make it harder to fall back asleep.
If you’re working on your sleep habits, check out our 30 days to better sleep guide.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.