Getting a good night's sleep is a tricky thing. There are so many reasons that you wake up. It can be a baby's cry, your dog's bark, a storm, your partner snoring, the need to go to the bathroom, a nightmare, or daily stresses.

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When you wake up in the middle of the night, sometimes it's really hard to fall back to sleep. If you are like me, your thoughts start racing and you can't turn them off.

Once that happens, there are some things you should and shouldn't do to get back to sleep.

Here are six things that might help.

Don’t turn on the lights

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Stay in your bed, in the dark. Don't get up, turn on the lights and think that this will eventually make you tired again. It won't. Keep your sleeping area as dark as possible.
According to myisense.com,
...darkness helps to stimulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep quickly. It also helps to keep you asleep until you complete all sleeping cycles. Additionally, darkness also promotes relaxation which helps you fall asleep quickly.

Don't get on your phone

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When you can't sleep, the first thing you do is probably grab your phone. But, in reality looking at the bright screen on yotu phone could make it even harder to get back to sleep.
The reason? Your Teen Mag had this to say
The reason that electronic devices interfere with sleep is because the light emitted by those devices is like a wake up call to the human brain. Specifically, the light prevents a hormone called melatonin from building up in the brain. It's this nightly production of melatonin that enables us to fall asleep.

Do guided breathing or meditation

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If you're really having a hard time relaxing into sleep after you wake uo in the middle of the night, you might want to do a quick bedtime mediation or deep breathing exercise.

Web MD says these things really work because,

Some research has found that concentrating on your breathing can ease anxiety and maybe help you sleep better. Slow, deep breathing can have several benefits for your mind and body, including: Less stress. More melatonin production.

Many meditation and guided breathing apps area available to help you. We use the Calm app.

Don't look at the time

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Whatever you do, DON"T look at the time to see how much time you have left until your alar goes off, that will really mess with your head. It happens to me all the time.

It's like my brain has a certain time that it thinks is ok to go back to sleep, and a time that it thinks that I should just go ahead and get up for the day.

I have found that itf I don;t look at the time at all, my brain is none the wiser and I will be able to go back to sleep, even if it's for only 30 minutes.

Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation

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This is something I use with my theatre actors to get them to clear their mind and escape into a complete focused state.

Here is what you do from Healthline,

 

All you need is focus, attention, and a quiet spot where you won't be distracted. The key with this technique is to tense each muscle group and hold for 5 seconds. Then, you exhale as you let your muscles fully relax for 10 to 20 seconds before you move on to the next muscle group.

 

Practice Visualization

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Many in my family, including me, suffer from debilitating anxiety. Sometimes, the extreme anxiety will keep us from falling asleep or even wakeus up at nigh.

To get back to sleep, we all practice visualization. Here is what it is and how to do it.

Visualization is scientifically proven to help people fall asleep faster. A common technique is to visualize yourself in a peaceful place, like lying on a beach, or see yourself slowly unraveling a ball of string and letting the string pile up at your feet.

- inc.com

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