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Tips for What To Do If You Can’t Fall Asleep

March 15, 2024  ·  8 min read

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Getting a good night’s sleep is an absolute necessity, so why does it sometimes feel like such a luxury? Despite feeling tired (or even exhausted), many people find themselves tossing and turning or lying in bed awake unable to drift off into a peaceful sleep. Sound familiar?

What do I do if I can’t fall asleep? If you’re one of the many people out there asking yourself this question, you should know that you’re not alone in this struggle. Not being able to fall asleep or having trouble sleeping even when you desperately need to is a surprisingly common occurrence and can be a frustrating experience — especially if you’re not sure what to do about it. 

Do I stay in bed? Does counting sheep really work? If I just keep my eyes closed, will I fall asleep eventually?

You have questions and we have answers. We’ll explore various strategies and tips to help you overcome sleepless nights and achieve the restful sleep you deserve.

Before we get into it, here are some quick tips for what to do if you can’t fall asleep:

  • Go into a different room
  • Read a book
  • Listen to soothing music or a meditation 
  • Do some stretches 
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Avoid electronics

Why can’t I sleep at night even when I’m tired?

Before we get into possible solutions to your sleep troubles, it’s important to understand why you might be having trouble sleeping. There are many different reasons why you may be waking up in the middle of the night or can’t seem to fall asleep. Although sleep troubles occur on a case-by-case basis, many people can relate to at least a few of these scenarios. 

Several factors can contribute to insomnia or sleep disturbances including: 

  • Stress or anxiety:How does stress affect sleep? Stress spikes your cortisol levels, which keeps your body alert and can make it difficult to wind down before bed.
  • Poor sleep habits: If you’re constantly pulling all-nighters, indulging in alcohol or caffeine, or scrolling on your phone too close to bedtime, your sleep habits could be keeping you awake (Keep reading: How much sleep do I really need?).
  • An uncomfortable sleep environment: Be sure that your room is kept at a cool temperature and that it is dark and quiet so that you can feel as relaxed as possible. 
  • An unsupportive mattress: Read up on the signs you need a new mattress to see if your current mattress is keeping you from getting the quality rest you deserve.

Identifying the root cause of your sleep troubles is the first step toward finding effective solutions. If you think you’re having trouble sleeping due to a sleep disorder such as insomnia or hypersomnia, consulting with a medical professional could help you get on the right track to getting quality sleep. 

6 tips to fall asleep

Here are some helpful tips for what to do if you can’t fall asleep that will assist in calming your mind and body.

Texas Mattress Makers tips for falling asleep.

1. Go into a different room

Should you get up if you can’t sleep? It may seem counterproductive to get out of bed when you’re trying to fall asleep, but there are benefits to leaving your bed if you’re feeling restless. Struggling to fall asleep can cause stress and frustration, therefore leaving the area can help you relieve some of that stress and return with a clearer mind. In fact, experts and studies generally recommend getting up and engaging in a relaxing activity if you’ve been lying awake for more than 20-30 minutes. 

2. Read a book

Ever wonder why you get sleepy when reading a book close to bedtime? Much like physical exercise, reading is a cognitive exercise for the mind that can help reduce stress. If you find yourself lying awake at night, head into a different room and grab a book. So, how long should you read to fall asleep? Reading for about 30 minutes to an hour will give your brain enough time to slow down and put your body back into a state of relaxation and you can try to go to bed again. If you struggle to fall asleep frequently, reading is a great activity to incorporate into your nightly routine to help you unwind before bed.

3. Listen to soothing music or a meditation 

If reading isn’t really your jam, or you’re someone who gets too immersed in stories, try listening to soothing music or following a meditation exercise. Sometimes, we can’t sleep because our brains can’t seem to turn off properly — making music or guided meditation a perfect tool to learn how to clear your mind and sleep. Soft, calming melodies or guided meditation tracks can help slow down your heart rate, relax tense muscles, and quiet racing thoughts, making it easier to drift back into a sleepy state. 

4. Do some stretches 

Stretching before bed or when you’re having trouble sleeping is a great routine to relax both your body and mind to relieve any tension that may be causing you to stay awake. Remember how we said that feeling stressed can keep you up at night? Even if you’re not in a current state of worry, our bodies still carry a lot of tension. Stretching allows your muscles to release any stiffness or discomfort so you can fully relax into your mattress. Once you finish your stretches, lie back down in your preferred sleeping position, close your eyes, and stay as relaxed as possible until you drift off to sleep. 

5. Practice deep breathing

There are many different breathing techniques that you can utilize to help you fall asleep, but they all have the same goal: to reduce stress and promote relaxation. A common deep breathing exercise for sleep is what is known as the 4-7-8 method, where you inhale for four seconds, hold that breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds repetitively to complete four full cycles. What this does is calm the nervous system to relax your body while also exercising your mind with counting. You may doze off during one of the four cycles, but if not, you will be in a more tranquil state that will make falling asleep easier. 

6. Avoid electronics

While your first instinct may be to grab your phone or the television remote for a late-night distraction, turning to electronics to help you fall back asleep will only have the opposite effect. 

The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and computers can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and keep you awake. Social media and TV can also be too stimulating for your brain late at night, and before you know it, you’ve been scrolling or binge-watching for hours. When you can’t fall asleep, electronics should not be an option for relief; instead, try the other five tips we’ve listed above to keep your mind and body at ease so you can get the rest you need.

Woman on white bed looking sad from bad sleep.

Tired of Feeling Tired?

Can a bad mattress keep you up at night?

Absolutely! Your mattress plays a significant role in the quality of your sleep, so if you’re sleeping on a bad mattress, you will only experience bad sleep. Over time, low-quality mattresses can lose their supportiveness and comfort, leading to aches, pains, and other sleep disturbances. 

If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, it may be time to consider investing in a new mattress:

  • You wake up with aches and pains (typically in the neck, shoulders, hips, and back)
  • You notice visible sagging or lumps in the mattress
  • You constantly wake up feeling stiff or sore
  • You are tossing and turning throughout the night
  • Your allergy symptoms flare up when you get in bed

If you’re having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, and you can confidently rule out any medical explanations, you may have trouble falling asleep because you’re sleeping on a bad mattress. If so, it might be time to upgrade to a high-quality mattress from Texas Mattress Makers — one that makes falling asleep a joy every single night.

Fall Asleep Faster and Stay Asleep Longer with Texas Mattress Makers

If you’re wondering what to do if you can’t fall asleep: first, focus on relaxing your mind and relieving your body of any tension. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine that prioritizes winding down and de-stressing can make falling asleep a less daunting task and more of an enjoyable nighttime ritual. However, no amount of deep breathing, meditation, or stretching can make up for a bad mattress.

If you’re trying to improve your sleep quality and get your best night’s sleep yet, it’s time to upgrade to a better mattress. Texas Mattress Makers offers handmade-in-Houston, top-quality mattresses for low, factory-direct prices that are tailored to your unique sleep needs. Say goodbye to aches and pains, tossing and turning, and restless nights and hello to deep, healthy sleep. 

Want to fall asleep easily every night and wake up feeling refreshed each morning? Visit any of our mattress stores in Katy, Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Humble, or Baybrook, TX, or shop online to get your forever mattress.

More Helpful Articles by Texas Mattress Makers:

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