If you have a habit of waking up, explore these 3 “tips” to increase the likelihood that you’ll stay asleep at night.
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I don’t really deal with “tips” or “tricks”. That’s because these terms usually imply that there’s some magic quick fix to your sleep struggles.
While you can definitely stop struggling and make sleeping better easy, the honest truth is that it’s never a tip or trick that makes this happen.
But I get asked this question a lot, so here are my top 3 “tips” to help you stay asleep.
Tip 1 – Avoid asking “why” when you wake
When you wake up at 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning, do you immediately think, “WHY is this happening?!”
If so, you likely know that in this moment, asking this question doesn’t help you.
In fact, all this question does is it kick start your brain into thinking mode, which is an active cognitive/mental function.
Before you know it, you’re up for hours!
What to do instead: Find a technique to help you fall back to asleep. Then, start to increase your awareness of the daytime activities that negatively impact your sleep.
Tip 2 – Replace daytime naps
Unless you’re in a stage of life where naps are necessary to support your sleep (e.g., you’ve got a baby or are an active ager), avoid the naps.
I know, I know–there are so many articles now about how great naps are. It’s the new fad diet of sleeping!
However, napping reduces something called “sleep pressure”–which along with a healthy circadian rhythm and a host of other physiological processes, is necessary for getting a good night’s sleep.
Sleep pressure means the desire to sleep (and stay asleep) builds throughout your day, and is released whenever you sleep. And that includes your nap time.
What to do instead: Explore what 15-30 minutes of REST would look like. See also What You Need to Know Before Joining the Nap Club.
Tip 3 – Allow yourself to process experiences
Most clients I work with need to do this.
We all have numerous experiences during any given day. Some are pleasant and joyful; others are difficult and stressful.
As a human being, you will have thoughts and emotions related to your daytime experiences. And, when you’re too busy during the day to reflect on and process those experiences, guess what?
When it’s finally quiet at night and you’ve settled down, that stuff comes up! Because you must deal with them, whether you like it or not.
What to do instead: Accept that processing your experiences is part of being human. There are lots of ways to do this (e.g. a walk in nature, keeping a journal, talking it over with a partner, etc.), but the important bit is that you do set aside some time for it during the day. Even 30 minutes to get quiet at 3 pm can be a huge help to you at 3 am!
Which tip do you need to explore this week? Comment below & let me know!