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5 Things You Should Not Do When You Can't Sleep - Rivertea Blog

5 Things You Should Not Do When You Can’t Sleep

| On 28, Jun 2013

Getting a good night’s sleep is something we all dream of. To rest your head on the pillow, close your eyes and be off on an 8-hour journey of blissful rest. Then to wake up and feel as good as new, ready to start a new day with replenished energy.


Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, is it? You have a busy schedule and a lot on your mind, and when you curl up in bed your thoughts are invaded by deadlines, tasks and everyday troubles. There are nights when even getting two hours of shuteye is lucky. You turn and fuss, hide your head under the covers, but no matter what you do, you simply cannot fall asleep.


We’ve all been there! So what is there do to? We’ve made a list of the things you’re probably doing, but shouldn’t, and what actions to take to help with your insomnia.

1. Don’t just lay there


What you usually tend to do is stay in bed, with your eyes closed, hoping that at some point you will fall asleep. But that really doesn’t work, does it? Don’t dwell under the covers for more than 15 minutes if you’re struggling with insomnia. You want your brain to remember that the bed is for sleeping, not lying there with you eyes closed, edgy and annoyed. Instead get up and find an activity that’s not too stimulating, but activates your brain enough to make you tired. You can read a book, watch TV or take a bath, for example. Make sure you don’t sit in a bright light, because this may interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. After you’re done, crawl back to bed and see if this puts an end to your restlessness.

2. Ignore your clock


If I fall asleep now, I’ll get five hours of rest and that should do. How many times have you told yourself that in the middle of the night? Constantly looking at your clock makes you aware and conscious and the idea that you’re never going to catch some Z’s will be implanted in your head. Turn your clock the other way or hide it under your bed and don’t focus on how much time you have left, but on how rested and energized you’ll feel in the morning.

3. Stay away from electronics


Wouldn’t you want to update your status so that everyone knows you’re awake at this time of night? Or maybe get some work done thus turning insomnia into late-night productivity. But your bed shouldn’t become a miniature work space. Don’t tell your brain that it should be sending emails instead of sending you off to dreamland. If you associate sleep with the stress at the office, your problem is going to turn into a long term one. 

In addition, the bright light from the computer will react on your brain, telling it to stay awake. Not to mention a late night message or call from another fellow insomniac that could bother you right at the very moment you were reaching the sweet land of dreams. So gather your phone, laptop, pad or any other electronics and move them to another room, where they will wait patiently for you till  morning comes.

4. Stop thinking


This is a hard one, we know. But you also probably know how all the things you worry about, the deadlines, that fight you had with a co-worker, last month’s incident when you ruined your favorite shirt, come back to you exactly at the point when you’re trying to doze off. But the bed is no place to be concerned with day to day issues. The best thing to do is keep a journal: write down all your problems and worries, anything that is bothering you and how it makes you feel. Make a to do list and set a schedule for the next day, so you know you have everything planned out and it’s going to be fine. Then relax and get it all out of your head. All you need to do now is hit the hay.

5. Put the cocktail glass down


A night cap may sound great and you would think it will help you fall asleep faster. However, that’s not the case. Although it will make you feel drowsy for some time, once it’s gone from your system it could make you more alert. You’ll wake up more often during the night and you’ll hear any noise that goes on in the house or outside. Instead pour yourself a glass of warm milk mixed with honey or a cup of nerve-calming chamomile tea. These will knock you right out!


Are you finally ready to sleep the night away? Make sure you keep in mind all the above advice and focus on getting rested. Sweet dreams!



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