Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent hours tossing and turning in bed trying to get to sleep when your brain just won’t shut up or after you’ve had one too many cups of coffee. It happens, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t awful – not to mention a night of insomnia can seriously wreck your day when morning finally does roll around. So what’s the one (surprising!) thing you should never do when you can’t sleep?
If you’ve been tossing and turning for a half hour or more, you should actually get out of bed. While it seems counterintuitive, lying awake and freaking yourself out about not being able to sleep will only make you less likely to sleep. Not only that, but you want your brain to associate your bed with feelings of sleepiness – and lying awake in bed definitely won’t help.
Instead, get out of bed, turn on a dim light, and allow yourself to do something calming and slightly boring, like reading a few chapters in a book. Your phone and computer screen are off-limits, though – since they emit certain kinds of light that can keep you up, they’ll only make the problem worse.
The bottom line? Next time you can’t sleep, don’t force it – you’ll only frustrate yourself. As crazy as it sounds, you’re much more likely to finally fall asleep when you’re not so focused on, well, falling asleep.