25 Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep

You know that feeling when you can’t sleep? You toss and turn in bed, counting sheep until your eyes are too heavy to stay open.

Well, don’t worry because today we’re going to go through some of the best ways for staying up all night without too much fuss.

In this post, I’m going to show you 25 things that have helped me stay awake or get back to sleep when I can’t.

1. Drink a Cup of Tea

When you have a sleepless night, a cup of tea can help. There are many different types of tea to choose from. Tea is calming and helps with insomnia.

People are always after me to drink tea instead of coffee. I’ve found the perfect tea for when I’m struggling to fall asleep, Lipton’s iced tea.

It has just enough caffeine in it that I can drink it at night and get to sleep, but not too much that will keep me up all night.

2. Create a Bedtime Routine

I always find that after I do my evening routine, I am tired and ready for bed. Doing the same activity every night at the same time helps stay on a schedule.

A lot of people like to read before bed because it’s soothing and lets them relax. They recommend choosing something lighthearted so you don’t overthink any problems when your mind is trying to shut down.

3. Finish a Project

I find that when I have a project that is occupying my time, then I am less likely to think about things at night.

If you are having trouble sleeping, get started on something. It will be fulfilling and work up your adrenaline so you can fall asleep after it’s completed.

4. Listen to Music Before Bed

By listening to music before bed, you’re creating a relaxing environment that your body and mind can associate with sleep.

I recommend that people choose instrumental music if they don’t want to be distracted by lyrics or any vocals.

You can listen to it with your eyes closed and let the music flow through you as you drift off to sleep.

5. Get out of Bed

When I can’t sleep, I get out of bed. Sometimes when I’m in bed for so long, my mind starts to wander and I start to worry about things. Just getting up and moving around the room has helped me.

I also like to set a timer for ten minutes every time I’m awake in the middle of the night. After ten minutes, if I’m still not asleep, then I go back to sleep.

6. Read Something Interesting

Some people say that one of the best ways to fall asleep is to read something interesting. It will keep your mind occupied and off any problems that are keeping you up at night.

It’s also important to find something that you enjoy reading. There’s no point in picking something that you hate or find boring.

7. Work on Your Hobby

I have found that when I work on my hobby, it has helped me to relax.

If you are losing sleep because of stress, then it’s important to find an outlet that relieves that stress, but it should be something that is not too demanding and keeps your hands and mind busy.

8. Write in a Journal About Your Day

If you have trouble sleeping at night, then try writing in a journal about your day. Some people say that it helps them to calm their minds and relax.

I tried it for a few nights and found that I was able to fall asleep more quickly.

Another thing you can also do is write down any thoughts or worries that are keeping you awake during the day so you can process them.

9. Talk to Someone Awake

I’m not sure if this was just a coincidence, but when I would go to bed and have trouble sleeping, I found that talking to someone awake helped me to calm down.

It’s also a good way to make sure that somebody else knows when you are in distress or are struggling with something.

10. Watch YouTube Videos

Watching Youtube videos can really depend on what you’re trying to do. Watching an intended sleep-inducing video before bed may help with the lack of sleep, but it will likely just prolong your time in bed and frustrate you more than the lack of sleep already is.

So, watching YouTube help you feel sleepy is a good first step.

11. Draw or Paint What you’re thinking about

I like to draw or paint what I’m thinking about when I can’t sleep.

It’s a creative way, and sometimes it helps me think more clearly about the things that are keeping me awake at night.

This has also improved my art skills, so it’s fun on multiple levels for me.

12. Do Yoga

Some people say that they struggle to fall asleep because they struggle with stress or anxiety.

If this sounds like you, then doing yoga may help you to regulate your body and mind so they can calm down enough for sleep.

I’ve tried it a few times and found that my breathing improved and I was able to relax more.

13. Use A Diffuser with Essential Oils

An example is the one with lavender oil, which is probably the most common sleep-inducing scent used by people.

Lavender oil has been shown to have an anti-stress effect on people, which helps them to relax faster.

It has also been shown to reduce anxiety in people, which is another contributing factor for insomnia issues.

Another essential oil that I use is peppermint oil. When I use peppermint oil, it just slows down my brain until I am feeling drowsy enough to fall asleep easily.

14. Imagine Something in Your Mind

If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, one of the most effective ways to go about it is to try and imagine something in your mind that is not too demanding or that will allow your mind to wander.

You can also create images in your mind with colors, shapes, and anything else. It can be as simple as thinking of an apple or a beach.

15. Check on Your Social Media

When you want to stay awake, try looking at your favorite social media. I recommend Instagram since it has more visually appealing things.

Although it might not be the best thing to do when you need to get up tomorrow for work, but it does make insomniacs feel less lonely!

Just remember to moderate your usage. It’s important to give your eyes time to rest though. So set a timer for phone screen time and take frequent breaks when needed.

16. Meditate

I was able to find a lot of help in meditation. Meditation has helped me to relax and fall asleep at night without any difficulty.

It seems that there are still some people who would say no to this, and others who would say yes to it.

For those of you who can’t sleep and need help, I recommend trying it out and seeing if the meditation helps.

It’s not going to be for everyone and won’t work for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to try it for a few nights and see if you’ll notice any difference in your sleep patterns.

17. Have A Relaxing Hot Shower

Another hot shower! What can I say? It seems like the majority of people who have trouble sleeping recommended taking a hot shower before bedtime.

A hot shower is a lot of people’s go-to when they can’t sleep. Even if it’s not the only thing that you do to help yourself sleep better, it can be a big part.

Take a hot shower an hour before bedtime, and all of the muscles in your body will start to relax. Plus, it’s just nice!

18. Deep Breathing Exercises

People who have trouble sleeping usually have different methods to help them sleep. One of these methods is deep breathing.

Deep breathing helps to calm the body and mind, which may result in improved sleep quality.

I found that when I practiced this for about ten minutes before bedtime, my anxiety levels decreased and it helped me fall asleep faster.

19. Play Chess Online

Playing chess online can be a good way to get your mind off of your problems and to relax.

You can play it on your phone or on an actual computer. The game makes you focus more on the game, which will help take your mind off of other things that are bothering you.

It’s also something that’s easy to do when you’re in bed! It doesn’t require much energy and just takes up a little of your time.

20. Make A To-Do List

Maybe you need to figure out what you need to do. Like me! After making a to-do list, I have simplified the whole process of trying to figure out my tasks.

When I stay up all night because I was procrastinating on my to-do list, nothing gets done because I’m just trying to think of what could be done.

However, when you write it down on a to-do list, everything you need to do is listed right in front of your eyes.

You can even make a separate section for what needs to be done tomorrow and what could be leftover until the next day.

21. Drink A Hot Milk

Some people drink hot milk before bed and it helps them to sleep. Some people say that they fall asleep quickly and they don’t have to worry about waking up at night.

Also, it doesn’t give you any sort of a sugar rush to keep you up all night! Why not try a glass right before bedtime and see what happens?

22. Listen to A Podcast

Pretty much every single day, I was able to sleep soundly and without any difficulty because I had listened to a podcast before bed.

I recommend listening to an episode of something you like as opposed to something that might be too informative.

What’s great about podcasts is that it’s easy for your brain to follow along since the spoken words are coming from one speaker.

23. Tidy Up Your Bedroom

I used to have a very messy bedroom and would toss and turn in bed all night. I had a lot of things everywhere, like clothes and shoes.

So, I went through it and picked up the clothes from the floor, put them in place.

Honestly, it makes you feel better when your room is clean because now you don’t have to find things that are buried under all those clothes.

Not only do I find myself less stressed, but I also sleep better at night.

24. Have A Light Snack

It’s okay to have a small snack before bed. If you’re hungry, this might help you sleep better.

But make sure that when you eat right before bedtime, make it something healthy like fruits or vegetables!

I’m not saying you can’t have a chocolate bar or chips, but the healthier the better.

25. Solve A Puzzle

It is a good idea to give your brain something to think about when you can’t sleep.

It is something for the mind to focus on instead of worrying or focusing on more problems.

It reduces stress by taking the body’s attention away from stressful thoughts, replacing them with more pleasurable ones. 

Why sleep is important?

Sleep is crucial for optimal brain function, and there’s a constant stream of new studies proving the importance of sleep.

And apart from the cognitive and physical benefits of catching up on some shuteye, recent research suggests that it may play a role in regulating our appetites and preventing obesity.

How can I sleep better at night?

If you’re not an early riser, this means turning off all screens before bedtime, including TV sets and computers – it’s also good practice to turn off the bedroom lights!

The act of inhibiting melatonin production, which is triggered by bright light exposure at night (like looking at your phone), will mean better quality “zs.”

But there are other things you can do to promote better sleep hygiene on nights that aren’t conducive to restful sleep.

Conclusion

If you’re currently struggling to sleep, the 25 tips provided in this article should help. These are tried and true methods for getting back on track with your restful routine or staying awake when it’s time to be alert!

There is also a section at the end of our post about how music can make all the difference in your quality of sleep.

Please let me know if any of these methods have been helpful for you or if there was anything else we could’ve included as well! 🙂

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