It happens to all of us! You’re wide awake at 2:30 a.m. anticipating your stressful work day ahead and you can’t fall back to sleep. This condition is regarded as a type of insomnia by sleep disorder specialists.

So, what can you do? Here are some tips.

Stop Looking at the Clock

Obsessively checking off the minutes only makes things worse. It won’t change the time, how long you’ve been awake, and won’t help you get back to sleep.

Try to Relax

Don’t lie there thinking hard about falling back to sleep. Ordering yourself to sleep won’t work. Instead, concentrate on making your body relax from the tips of your toes all the way up to the top of your head. Tense each group of muscles for five seconds and then relax.

Get Out of Bed

If you’re still awake after about thirty minutes, get up. If you stay in bed, your mind may come to associate your bedroom with disturbed sleep. Try to forget your sleep problem by walking around for a bit.

Do Something Interesting

Read a book or put on some relaxing music. Hopefully, you will begin to have a drowsy feeling which will carry over when you get back into bed and you will fall asleep.

Daytime Habits Can Affect How You Sleep

Don’t regard your sleeping problem as just a nighttime problem. There’s a lot you can do during the day that can help you sleep more soundly at night. For example:

  • Keep to a Consistent Schedule. Try to get into bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. Your body will come to appreciate this regularity and adopt better sleep patterns.
  • Avoid Caffeine. Caffeine can play a big role in keeping you awake. So, abstain from food or drink containing caffeine for at least five to six hours before getting into bed.
  • Make Your Bedroom Comfortable. Pay attention to your bedroom temperature – a level of warmth or cold that suits you. Make sure that you have a mattress and pillow with a firmness level that you like.
  • Calm Yourself Before Bedtime. About an hour before retiring, stop doing anything that’s mentally challenging such as the work you brought home from the office. Switch to something relaxing like listening to music or reading a detective story.
  • Leave Your iPad in the Living Room. Don’t play with your electronic gadgets or watch TV in bed. Your goal should be to train your mind to associate your bed with sleeping.

It Might be Time to Visit a Sleep Disorder Specialist

If you have tried everything, and you’re still unable to get a good night’s sleep, something more serious might be going on. Get yourself checked out so that any underlying causes can be treated. You deserve the best sleep possible.

Oh sleep, Oh gentle sleep,

Nature’s soft nurse How have I frighted thee?

That though no more will weigh mine eyelids down

And sleep my senses in forgetfulness?


Henry IV, William Shakespeare


If you are having trouble sleeping through the night and nothing seems to help, a consultation with a sleep disorder expert at Valley Sleep Center can pinpoint what is preventing you from sleeping well. Contact us at 480.830.3900 to arrange an appointment.